#50 Sri Ganeshan, MD and physician scientist: Into the weeds on folate and mitochondrial metabolism with FRAT and MitoSwab testing

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Dr Sri Ganeshan, MD and physician scientist, dives into the weeds on folate and mitochondria

Please note, even though we discuss folate doses in depth, we are NOT recommending that using folate in any form is right for you or your child. A podcast conversation is never a replacement for personalized and direct medical care.

Did you know mitochondria is involved in fighting viral infections including COVID? Listen all the way through to get this info!

It’s a soup-to-nuts discussion about the types of folate, functions of folate across the lifespan, location of receptors on the body, deficiency symptoms, genetics of folate (including MTHFR), and supplementation options (including oral and/or injectable). Dr Ganeshan then discusses the FRAT test (Folate Receptor Antibody Test) which is a blood test that evaluates autoimmune activity against the folate receptors, possibly interrupting folate uptake & usage, especially by the brain, which has been associated with neuroinflammatory conditions like autism and chronic infections. He discusses the role of dairy in triggering autoinflammatory conditions.

Regarding mitochondria, Dr Ganeshan weaves around mitochondrial structure, numbers, locations, functions and dysfunction/ deficiency symptoms by complex in the electron transport chain (thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, cancer, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and others). Historically, mitochondrial disease that is severe has a genetic contribution and is found in childhood, but secondary dysfunction that may be environmentally triggered and found as mitochondrial dysfunction in children or adults. He discusses some of the subtle (aka vague) lab findings as well as the gold standards for mitochondrial evaluation (muscle biopsy and/or genetics). MitoSwab test per research is 85% as accurate as the much more invasive muscle biopsy and can be completed with a simple cheek swab and shipped in the mail for assessment. It can be used with children 2 years old and up. Finally, we review treatment options for supplements and the importance of protecting from light and oxygen to reduce oxidation.

We close with some interesting patient cases of children with autism and an adult with Parkinson's.

Put on your science hat! This is a fun, technical, ride through these two vital aspects of our metabolism.

Of note, Center for Healing Neurology does offer both FRAT & MitoSwab testing. Please schedule an appointment if you are interested in this testing.

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