Joshua Roffman, M.D.

Physician Investigator (Cl)
Psychiatry, Mass General Research Institute
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
MD University of Maryland School of Medicine 2001
catechol o-methyltransferase; folic acid; memory, short-term; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (nadph2); polymorphism, genetic; prefrontal cortex; schizophrenia; schizophrenic psychology; vitamins

Dr. Roffman's research merges brain imaging, genomics, and clinical trials to examine folic acid abnormalities in schizophrenia. His previous work has linked low-functioning genetic variants in the folate metabolic pathway to increased risk for negative symptoms, cognitive impairment, and related alterations in brain activation.

Recently completed clinical trials conducted by Dr. Roffman and colleagues at the SCRP have identified modest protective effects of folic acid supplementation, especially among individuals who carry the previously identified genetic variants.

Dr. Roffman is currently exploring how variation in folate-related genes, dietary folate intake, and exposure to folic acid during neurodevelopment influence MRI-based markers of schizophrenia vulnerability.

Dr. Roffman is also co-director of the Brain Genomics Superstruct Project, a unique collection of MRI scans and genomic data from >3,500 individuals. Using this resource, Dr. Roffman is examining how genes expressed early in brain development influence MRI markers that are abnormal in schizophrenia. The ultimate goal of this work is to identify biological pathways that may be targeted by folate-based interventions for individuals who are at increased genetic risk for schizophrenia.

Research website Publications Clinical Profile

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