Neuropsychology of vitamin B12 deficiency in elderly dementia patients and control subjects.
ABSTRACT Cobalamin deficiency may cause cognitive deficits and even dementia. In Alzheimer's disease, the most frequent cause of dementia in elderly persons, low serum levels of vitamin B12, may be misleading. The aim of this work was to characterize the cognitive pattern of B12 deficiency and to compare it with that of Alzheimer's disease. Nineteen patients with low levels of vitamin B12 were neuropsychologically evaluated before treatment and a year later. Results were compared with those of 10 healthy control subjects. Final results suggest that there is a different pattern in both diseases. Twelve elderly patients with dementia improved with treatment. Seven elderly demented patients did not improve; they deteriorated after 1 year although their levels of cobalamin were normal. Analysis of the initial evaluation showed that the 2 groups of patients had a different neuropsychological profile. The group that improved had initially more psychotic problems and more deficits in concentration, visuospatial performance, and executive functions. They did not show language problems and ideomotor apraxia, which were present in the second group. Their memory pattern was also different. These findings suggest that cobalamin deficiency may cause a reversible dementia in elderly patients. This dementia may be differentiated from that of Alzheimer's disease by a thorough neuropsychological evaluation.
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ABSTRACT: Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a wide range of hematological, gastrointestinal, psychiatric and neurological disorders. Hematological presentation of cobalamin deficiency ranges from the incidental increase of mean corpuscular volume and neutrophil hypersegmentation to symptoms due to severe anemia, such as angor, dyspnea on exertion, fatigue or symptoms related to congestive heart failure, such as ankle edema, orthopnea and nocturia. Neuropsychiatric symptoms may precede hematologic signs and are represented by myelopathy, neuropathy, dementia and, less often, optic nerve atrophy. The spinal cord manifestation, subacute combined degeneration (SCD), is characterized by symmetric dysesthesia, disturbance of position sense and spastic paraparesis or tetraparesis. The most consistent MRI finding is a symmetrical abnormally increased T2 signal intensity confined to posterior or posterior and lateral columns in the cervical and thoracic spinal cord. Isolated peripheral neuropathy is less frequent, but likely overlooked. Vitamin B12 deficiency has been correlated negatively with cognitive functioning in healthy elderly subjects. Symptoms include slow mentation, memory impairment, attention deficits and dementia. Optic neuropathy occurs occasionally in adult patient. It is characterized by symmetric, painless and progressive visual loss. Parenteral replacement therapy should be started soon after the vitamin deficiency has been established.Nutrients 11/2013; 5(11):4521-39. DOI:10.3390/nu5114521 · 3.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: This study aims to verify if there is a relation between risk of dementia and the absence of physical or mental stimulation in the elderly. METHODS: Three hundred and three elderly people with the age of 80 years old or over, were assessed by means of the specific questionnaires. They were divided into three groups according to practice of physical or mental activity. They were submitted to the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and assessed according to their educational level and the risk of dementia. RESULTS: There was not difference in scores between the genders. When comparing the increased risk of dementia incidence, individuals who did not practice any activity had a 4.27 relative risk when compared to individuals who practiced mental activity, and 2.21 when compared to practitioners of physical activity. The practitioners of physical activity had a 1.93 relative risk in relation to practitioners of mental activity. CONCLUSION: The regular practice of physical and mental activities delays the cognitive decline, reducing the risk of dementia. The mental activity was more effective.Jornal brasileiro de psiquiatria 12/2009; 59(4):302-307. DOI:10.1590/S0047-20852010000400006
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ABSTRACT: Cobalamin deficiency is frequent in elderly patients and the main aetiologies are food-cobalamin malabsorption and pernicious anaemia. The aim of our retrospective study was to identify the causes and methods of management of cobalamin deficiency at Nice geriatric university hospital. A retrospective monocentric study was conducted over 14 months at Nice geriatric hospital, which included patients with cobalamin deficiency having received supplementation. The clinical and paraclinical data, etiological diagnosis, treatment and follow-up modalities were analyzed retrospectively. We studied 125 elderly patients whose median age was 85.5 ± 7 years. The etiological diagnosis was food-cobalamin malabsorption for 72 patients (57.6 %), nutritional cobalamin deficiency for 15 patients (12 %), pernicious anaemia for 12 patients (9.6 %) and there was no etiological diagnosis for 26 patients (20.8 %). Concerning cobalamin therapy, 111 patients (88.8 %) received oral therapy and 14 (11.2 %) intramuscular therapy. Vitamin B12 levels increased significantly after supplementation (p<0.001) but cobalamin administration varied according to the diagnoses (p<0.001) and was less effective in patients with dementia (p=0.04) and food-cobalamin malabsorption. Our study showed the importance of food-cobalamin malabsorption in etiological diagnosis in accordance with the literature, but also the non-negligible share of nutritional cobalamin deficiency. Mainly oral cobalamin supplementation was used in our study with a significant increase in vitamin B12 levels. An oral cobalamin regimen is proposed for elderly patients with cobalamin deficiency but with no severe neurological signs.The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 01/2015; 19(2):234-9. DOI:10.1007/s12603-014-0525-1 · 2.39 Impact Factor