HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Warning from new SLU research: Usual test for vitamin deficiency can mislead doctors

ST. LOUIS -- A test that generally is used to measure the amount of vitamin B12 in the body is not sensitive enough to detect a deficiency of the vitamin, which has been linked to several neurological conditions, according to Saint Louis University research. The findings were presented this month at a meeting of the American Neurological Association.

"B12 deficiency is associated with dementia, peripheral neuropathy and spinal cord disease," says Florian Thomas, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neurology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and a researcher on the project.

"While it occurs at any age, B12 deficiency is more common in the elderly, may affect some vegetarians and their newborns, can be provoked by laughing gas anesthesia and also by a unique form of recreational drug use. Importantly, it is very easy to treat by taking one pill per day for life. We need to do a better job of detecting the problem."

Thomas and his Saint Louis University colleagues, Laurence J. Kinsella, M.D., associate professor of neurology, and Jamie T. Haas, M.D., a neurology resident, found that the standard test for B12 deficiency -- measuring its blood level -- may be too insensitive.

The scientists found that of 34 patients who had normal levels of B12, 26 had elevated levels of methylmalonic acid (MMA), which indicated B12 deficiency.

They are urging doctors who suspect their patients lack the vitamin to also test for levels of MMA, a natural compound in the body that increases when B12 is lacking.

"The usual way of diagnosing B12 deficiency may be inadequate because it underestimates the frequency of the problem, which is present in up to 20 percent of the elderly," Thomas says. "The problem is eminently treatable at pennies a day."

Dr. Kinsella has had a longstanding interest in B12 deficiency and its relationship to nitrous oxide, a general ane
'"/>

Contact: Nancy Solomon
solomonn@slu.edu
314-977-8017
Saint Louis University
27-Oct-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Multinational research: protecting ecology means understanding people, too
2. From clinical cancer research: rethinking therapeutic cancer vaccine trials
3. New diabetes research: Half of Americans have gene that affects how body burns sugar
4. UC Davis scientists groundbreaking research: Mate-attracting chemicals
5. New research: Soy germ isoflavones reduce bone loss
6. VCU research: Magnetic nanoparticles for potential cancer treatment
7. New slant on vision research: Neurons sensitive to viewing angle
8. Latest buzz in research: Intoxicated honey bees may clue scientists into drunken human behavior
9. Frontiers in cancer prevention research: Defeating cancer before it strikes
10. Touching research: How white blood cells navigate
11. Enzyme discovery sheds light on vitamin D

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/2/2018)... ... , ... Stem Cell Innovations (SCI), a global network of professionals working together ... launched the pre-sale for their ICO with participants purchasing SCIA Tokens for ... and stem cell specialists around the world. , SCI (formally Camden RAD, ...
(Date:10/2/2018)... ... October 02, 2018 , ... As a ... ACEA Biosciences, The Cell Analysis Company , is excited to offer xCELLigence® ... Experimental design and data analysis for immune oncology researchers are now much easier, ...
(Date:10/1/2018)... , ... October 01, 2018 , ... ... and 1200+ customers and InteloMed, the leading patient monitoring technology providing real-time information ... signs and other indications of patient health during a telehealth visit without the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2018)... ... September 26, 2018 , ... ... platform that aims to build the first human digitome, a digital representation of ... data through a seamless integration of all data sources. Dr. Michelle Longmire, Co-Founder ...
(Date:9/22/2018)... ... September 20, 2018 , ... ... a strategic venture. The synergistic combination of Predicine’s GeneRADAR molecular insights platform ... biomarker profiling to empower clinical trials in the immuno-oncology (IO) space. , ...
(Date:9/13/2018)... ... September 13, 2018 , ... Asymmetrex’s director, ... we would have gotten in medicine, if we didn’t have the means to measure ... treat patients?” His answer, “Nowhere! And that is what’s holding up progress in ...
(Date:9/7/2018)... , ... September 05, 2018 , ... Now available on ... will be held on Sept. 19, 2018. With a panel of industry leaders from ... exciting event will reveal industry insights from experts in the field. Register today ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: