Choline during pregnancy may prevent schizophrenia
by Newsletter Editor
An early sign of potential schizophrenia is when the newborn does not adjust to repeated sounds. The healthy brain responds fully the first time it perceives a sound, and then decreases its response when the sound repeats. Doctors said this brain-filtering capacity develops during the five months before and one month after birth, and that choline, particularly in the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby in the womb, activates the receptors linked to brain-filtering.
In the study, beginning in the second trimester, 100 healthy pregnant women took a placebo or 6,300 mg of phosphatidyl choline (PC) per day through delivery. PC supplementation with 700 mg/day for mother or newborn continued through the third postnatal month. Findings from the study indicate that 76% of the infants who received the prenatal and postnatal PC had healthy brain-filtering responses, compared with only 43% of infants who received placebo.
Compared to 4 in 10 for placebo, more than 8 in 10 infants exposed to pre- and post-natal choline had healthy brain-filtering responses.