Dr O’Hara calls MTHFR the mother gene because it interferes with folate metabolism. Folate is a B vitamin and we get it in green leafy vegetables and other food. It gets broken down in the body, so it’s really important for brain development and detoxification in general. These metabolites of folate are vital to decrease anxiety, tics, OCD and other childhood neurological symptoms. If you have a defect in the MTHFR gene, you are less able to metabolize or break down folate completely and you are more likely to have problems with detoxification, anxiety, tics, brain fog, and cognitive delays.