Vitamin B12 and brain development

Abstract

This is a report of a 11/2-year-old male with megaloblastic anaemia and a progressive neurological disorder clinically resembling leucodystrophy. The child was exclusively breast fed and his mother had been a strict vegetarian for more than 4 years before the child was born. After Vitamin B12 therapy the anaemia disappeared and the neurological condition dramatically improved.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.

    Adams RD, Kubik CS (1944) Subacute degeneration of the brain in pernicious anaemia. N Engl J Med 231:2–9

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Baker SJ, Jacob E, Rayan KT, Swaminathan SP (1962) Vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy and the puerperium. Br Med J 16:1658–1661

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Barley FW, Sato GH, Abeles RH (1972) An effect of Vit B12 deficiency in tissue culture. J Biol Chem 247:4270–4276

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Baumgartner ER, Wick H, Maurer R, Egli N, Steinmann B (1979) Congenital defect in intracellular cobalamin metabolism resulting in homocystinuria and methylmalonic aciduria. Helv Paediatr Acta 34:465–482

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Dayan AD, Ramsay RB (1974) An inborn error of Vit B12 metabolism associated with cellular deficiency of coenzyme forms of the vitamin. J Neurol Sci 23:117–128

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Ferraro A, Arietti A, English WH (1945) Cerebral changes in the course of pernicious anaemia and their relationships to psychic symptoms. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 4:217–239

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Frenkel E (1973) Abnormal fatty acid metabolism in peripheral nerve of patients with pernicious anemia. J Clin Invest 52: 1237–1245

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Hittingbottom MC, Sweetman L, Nyhan W (1978) A syndrome of methylmalonic aciduria, homocystinuria, megaloblastic anemia and neurologic abnormalities in a Vit B12 deficient breast-fed infant of strict vegetarian. N Engl J Med 299:317–323

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Hitzig WH, Dohmann U, Pluss HJ, Vischer D (1974) Hereditary transcobalamin II deficiency: clinical findings in a new family. J Pediatr 85:622–628

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Hoey H, Linnell JC, Oberholzer VG, Laurance BM (1982) Vit B12 deficiency in a breast-fed infant of a mother with pernicious anaemia. J R Soc Med 75:656–658

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Jadhav M, Webb JKG, Vaishnava S, Baker SJ (1962) Vit-B12 deficiency in Indian infants. Lancet 2:903–907

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Jathar VS, Karneth SA, Parikh MN, Rege DV, Satoskar RS (1970) Maternal milk and serum Vit B12, folic acid and protein levels in Indian subjects. Arch Dis Child 45:236–241

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Lampkin BC, Saunders EF (1969) Nutritional Vit B12 deficiency in an infant. J Pediatr 75:1053–1055

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Luhby AL, Cooperman JM, Donneivfekd AM (1958) Observation on transfer of Vit B12 from mother to fetus and newborn. Am J Dis Child 96:532–533

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Scott CR, Hakami N, Chiang Teng C, Sagerson RN (1972) Hereditary transcobalamin II deficiency. J Pediatr 81:1106–1111

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Spatz R (1969) Perniciöse Anämie-Funikuläre Spinalerkrankung-Perniciosa-Psychose. Der Nervenarzt 40:475–481

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Torres I, Smith W, Oxnard CE (1971) Peripheral neuropathy associated with Vit B12 deficiency in captive monkeys. J Path Bact 105:125–145

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Westhuyzen J, Cantrill RC, Fernandes-Costa, F, Metz J (1983) Effect of a Vit B12 deficient diet on lipid and fatty acid composition of spinal cord myelin in the fruit bat. J Nutr 113:531–537

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Zachau-Christiansen H (1962) The relative haemoglobin, iron, Vit B12 and folic acid values in the blood of mothers and their newborn infants. Dan Med Bull 9:157–166

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to K. Stollhoff.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Stollhoff, K., Schulte, F.J. Vitamin B12 and brain development. Eur J Pediatr 146, 201–205 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02343237

Download citation

Key words

  • Vitamin B12
  • Leucodystrophy
  • Brain atrophy
  • Vegetarian diet