Choline supplements could prevent schizophrenia

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A study that tested the effects of choline supplements on pregnant mothers shows promise for preventing schizophrenia.

The research, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, found that women who took choline, an essential nutrient, during the last two trimesters of pregnancy could help prevent their children from developing schizophrenic risk factors.

The study

Dr. Robert Freedman and his team wanted to know if choline could improve cerebral inhibition in infants, so they used a test that involved subjecting infants to clicking sounds. Normally, the team explained, the brain will respond fully to a first clicking sound, but it inhibits the response to a second click that immediately comes after.

In schizophrenics, however, this inhibition is deficient, which has to do with poorer sensory processing.

Results

The team found that 86 percent of the infants who had been exposed to the choline supplements showed an inhibited response to the clicking sounds. Only 43 percent of the unexposed infants showed an inhibited response.

The authors say the study is groundbreaking in that it may represent one way to prevent schizophrenia well before it even develops.

Source: Nutra Ingredients