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August 1993

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Nervous System Disease in HIV Infection

Author Affiliations

From the AIDS Neurological Center (Drs Robertson, Wilkins, Messenheimer, and Whaley and Mr Hall), the Departments of Neurology (Drs Robertson, Wilkins, Donovan, and Messenheimer and Mr Hall), Psychiatry (Drs Robertson, Stern, Perkins, and Wilkins and Mr Gortner), Radiology (Dr Whaley), and Medicine (Dr Messenheimer and Mr Hall), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the Departments of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Neuroscience, University of Florida, Gainesville (Dr Evans).

Arch Neurol. 1993;50(8):807-811. doi:10.1001/archneur.1993.00540080018007

• Background.  —Vitamin B12 deficiency may result in a number of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. Patients with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HI V-1) infection may have a high rate of vitamin B12 deficiency and nervous system disease. Vitamin B12 deficiency may contribute to neurological disease in HIV-1—infected individuals.

Objective.  —To evaluate the possible contribution of vitamin B12 deficiency to neurological disease in HIV-1—infected individuals.

Main Outcome Measures.  —Comparison of serum vitamin B12 levels with neurological, neuropsychological, and mood state abnormalities in 153 HIV-1—positive subjects and 57 high-risk seronegative controls. A subgroup of 67 subjects underwent additional extensive clinical neurophysiological, cerebrospinal fluid, and magnetic resonance imaging evaluations.

Results.  —No statistically significant relationships were noted between vitamin B12 levels and abnormalities on any of the measures examined.

Conclusions.  —This study does not indicate an important role for vitamin B12 deficiency in the neurological disease of HIV-1 infection.

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