Addiction research focusing on homocysteine metabolism and its association with aspects of alcohol dependence has revealed important findings. Recent literature on this topic has been taken into account for the review provided. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a key enzyme in the homocysteine metabolism. Plasma homocysteine levels are influenced by the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) MTHFR C677T. Besides genetic factors, environmental factors have an impact on homocysteine plasma levels too.
The emerging research on biomarkers in alcohol dependence has lead to a deeper understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms in alcoholism. The molecular networks and the pathophysiological circuits are complex and not completely unrevealed up to now. One of the most interesting biomarkers described to play an important role in alcohol dependence is the amino-acid homocysteine, which has particularly been linked with brain atrophy and withdrawal seizures.