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March 1955

Massive Doses of Vitamin B12 in Treatment of Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

Houston, Texas

From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Houston, Texas, and the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Baylor University College of Medicine.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;73(3):345-346. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330090091012

During the past few years vitamin B12 has been used successfully in the treatment of various disorders of the nervous system, especially various painful neuropathies. When solutions of greater potency became available, it was found that doses of 1000γ daily would relieve the pain in many cases of trigeminal neuralgia. The exact mode of action is obscure, but it does not appear to be on a simple replacement basis.1 An effect on the "deranged intrinsic nerve metabolism" has been suggested.3 Because of these encouraging reports, it was decided to try massive doses of vitamin B12 in treatment of schizophrenic patients, who might also be said to have an obscure disorder of the nervous system. Since the medication appears to have no harmful effects, this was considered to be a sufficient indication for such a clinical trial.

METHOD  Twenty patients diagnosed as showing schizophrenic reactions were

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