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How do MTHFR and MAO A interact? Survey

Discussion in 'Genetic Testing and SNPs' started by Kimsie, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Kimsie


    Hi everyone,

    My husband has MTHFR 1298 +/- and MAO A -/-. I take this to mean that he has less ability to transform tryptophan into 5-htp leading to less serotonin, and he has a high ability to degrade serotonin, so he has always had some trouble with depression and also now he responds well to 5-htp supplements without mood swings. My DIL has MAO A +/- and she doesn't have MTHFR 1298 and she has some mood swings.

    I would like to gather more information about this if any of you want to contribute then please post your MTHFR 1298 and MAO A mutation status and also your average tendency to depression on a scale of 0 - 10 and your tendency to mood swings on a 0 - 10 scale, meaning mood swings within a single day. All information is useful, even if you are 0 scale on mood swing and depression. Also put down mood swings with 5-htp if you have tried it. You can add any relevant comments if you wish. Also you could comment on your response to depression medications if you have ever taken any and wish to share that information.

    For an example I would rate my husband like this:

    MTHFR 1298 +/-, MAO A -/-, Depression 2.5, Mood swings 0, Mood swings with 5-htp 0


  2. PDXhausted

    PDXhausted Senior Member

    NW US
    Hi Kimsie,

    I was just looking through your posts, and I noticed this one. I'll give you mine-- since I'm the opposite of your husband on MAOA. I have never had a problem with depression, but I have a very high tendency towards anxiety and panic, which I believe relates to my COMT mutations as well as probably other things. I am very slow in breaking down dopamine and norepinephrine, and tend towards mania when taking supplements with methyl donors. I'm MTHFR C677T -/-. I tried a small dose of citalopram once to see if it would help with anxiety and it made me feel like I was going insane.

    MTHFR 1298 +/-, MAO A +/+, Depression 0, Mood swings 0, haven't tried 5-htp.
  3. Kimsie


    My son has schizophrenia, so the COMT mutations are of special importance to me and I have been studying and thinking about this very subject and I may have some ideas that will interest you. My son is ++ for both COMT V158M and H62H.

    The COMT enzyme especially needs two things in order to work. It needs niacin, which is an integral part of the enzyme, and it needs SAMe, which donates the methyl group to degrade the neurotransmitters. If you happen to be low on niacin for any reason, whether it is because of mutations or diet, you will not be able to make enough COMT.

    Our 2 year old grandson was going wild yesterday and his mom told me that he was withdrawing from sugar. Well sugar depletes niacin, so I knew the little guy's COMT wasn't working right so we gave him 20mg of niacin and in 10 minutes he was a different boy, you wouldn't have believed the change. So niacin or niacinamide is something that might help you, in fact, it MIGHT be ALL you need as far as anxiety and panic are concerned. Try taking 500mg three times a day and see if it helps. If it works but the effect wears off then you need a larger dose or a more frequent dose. If you are worried that you are using up methyl groups then take smaller doses and just take more each time your symptoms return. If it doesn't help at all, then you need to look at your methionine cycle and try to get your SAMe levels up.

    I took a quick look at your posts, but I didn't see your 23andme results anywhere, but I know you have a double on the one that possibly reduces folate absorption so I hope you have started to take about 5 mg of either methyl folate or folinic acid a day. You might need some B12, but I don't know about you MTR/MTRR mutations. I really don't believe that you need to worry about methyl donors if you take niacin, but on the other hand, I don't think you need methyl donors. I think the people who have trouble in that way are actually low in niacin, not too high in methyl groups. I explained that in another post, maybe you saw it.

    Giving niacin, folate and B12 helps my son with schizophrenia to at least have a mind that is more clear, but I think we are running into the same problem with him as with our other son, who has high histamine, that is, draining methionine out of the cycle because of the feedback loop from high methionine and SAMe turning on CBS and draining the substrate (homocysteine) out. They both have the same CBS upregulations, and I think this may be the one thing that the CBS upregulations are really significant for: when a person needs a higher amount of SAMe than their body holds in the cycle. If they didn't have the upregulations they would have higher homocysteine and thus higher substrate in the methionine cycle.

    I hope this helps!
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013

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