MTHFR is a gene that makes an enzyme called Methylene Tetrahydrofolate Reductase. Let’s just call it MTHFR. MTHFR is the enzyme that makes L-methylfolate, a critical type of folate your brain and body use to serve several roles. In the brain, L-methylfolate is necessary for making dopamine and serotonin, two very important chemical messengers. Not having enough L-methylfolate leads to raised homocysteine levels that increase cardiac risks. For women of child bearing age, problems with MTHFR have been linked to certain birth defects.
Understanding addiction as the abuse of drugs has not helped us end the problem. If anything, after a century of using that definition, we have a worse problem than we did 100 years ago. But science is changing, and addiction is now seen as a primary illness that comes before the drugs. The neurobiology is known and there are many genetic predictors of important functions. GenEd’s Addiction Education Report will teach anyone interested how addiction really works in the brain.