August 7, 2007
TUNIS, TunisiaA pilot study revealed folic acid supplementation might help Behçet's disease (BD) patients by improving ocular problems associated with hyperhomocysteinemia (Hhcys). Researchers divided 19 BD patientsall with uveitis and/or retinal vasculitis associated with Hhcys (plasma hcy > 15 micromol/l)into two groups. Group 1 consisted of 11 patients that received folic acid (15 mg/d) in addition to their previous standard BD treatment; group 2 included eight patients treated only with their previous standard BD treatment. Visual acuity and uveitis attacks were assessed initially and monthly at each visit in all groups. Mean visual acuity and frequency of uveitis attacks were evaluated quarterly.
Results showed the mean plasma hcys levels in group 1 were significantly lower after than before the treatment period (27.7 vs 13.1 micromol/l; p= 0.04), while it did not vary significantly in the same period in group 2 patients. The frequency of uveitis attacks was significantly lower after treatment, when compared to pre-treatment rates, at each quarter in group l; mean visual acuity in group 1 increased from 4.33 to 5.44 decimals. During the treatment period, the mean number of uveitis attacks (converted to frequency per 12 months) was significantly lower in group 1 than in group 2. Also during this period, visual acuity slightly increased in group 1 and decreased in group 2, but the difference was not significant. Researchers concluded folate supplementation was useful to BD patients with ocular complications relative to Hhcys.
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