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. 2018 Jul 17;8(1):10817.
doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29141-y.

Vitamin D, Folate and the Intracranial Volume in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder and Healthy Controls

Free PMC article

Vitamin D, Folate and the Intracranial Volume in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder and Healthy Controls

Tiril P Gurholt et al. Sci Rep. .
Free PMC article


Vitamin D and folate deficiency are considered risk factors for schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, but it is unknown how vitamin D and folate influence the growing brain, cranium or the clinical phenotype. Serum vitamin D and folate levels are in part genetically regulated. We investigated whether adult vitamin D and folate levels are associated with the intracranial volume (ICV) under the hypothesis that developmental vitamin D or folate levels influence neurodevelopment and that current levels are associated with ICV. Ninety patients with severe mental disorders and 91 healthy controls underwent 3 T magnetic resonance imaging and serum sampling. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the contribution of serum vitamin D, folate and patient-control status on ICV. We show that vitamin D levels were within lower range for patients and controls (48.8 ± 22.1 nmol/l and 53.4 ± 20.0 nmol/l, respectively). A significant positive association was found between vitamin D and ICV (p = 0.003, r = 0.22), folate was trend-significantly associated with ICV. Folate and vitamin D were significantly associated (p = 0.0001, r = 0.28). There were nonsignificant patient-control differences and no interaction effects. The results suggest that Vitamin D is associated with ICV as detected in the adult. Further studies are warranted for replication and to investigate possible mechanisms and genetic associations.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing interests.

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