It has been suggested that an elevated serum or plasma homocysteine level may be a risk factor for neuropsychiatric conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and depression. Because depression is closely related to anxiety disorders, and because it has been suggested that stress may be associated with an elevated homocysteine level, we studied whether serum homocysteine levels are elevated in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Total serum homocysteine levels in 28 male patients with PTSD were compared to those of 223 healthy controls. The effect of PTSD on the serum homocysteine level was significant (F = 42.96, P <.0001). In a regression model for the PTSD patients, the duration of PTSD was found to predict serum homocysteine levels (t = 2.228, P = .035). Our results suggest that elevated levels of homocysteine in male patients with PTSD may be related to pathophysiological aspects associated with the chronicity of this disorder.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder