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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


BEHRENS P, María Isabel; DIAZ T, Violeta; VASQUEZ V, Carolina  and  DONOSO S, Archibaldo. Dementia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency: Report of one case . Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2003, vol.131, n.8, pp.909-914. ISSN 0034-9887.

Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency can cause polyneuropathy, myelopathy, blindness, confusion, psychosis and dementia. Nonetheless, its deficiency as the sole cause of dementia is infrequent. We report a 59 years old man with a 6 months history of progressive loss of memory, disorientation, apathy, paranoid delusions, gait difficulties with falls, and urinary incontinence. He had suffered a similar episode 3 years before, with a complete remission. On examination there was frontal type dementia with Korsakoff syndrome, a decrease in propioception and ataxic gait. Cerebrospinal fluid examination showed a protein of 0.42 g/L. Brain computed tomography showed sequelae of a frontal left trauma. Brain single photon computed tomography (SPECT) was normal. Complete blood count showed a macrocytic anemia with a hematocrit 29% and a mean corpuscular volume of 117 µ3. Plasma vitamin B12 levels were undetectable, erythrocyte folate levels were 3.9 ng/ml and plasma folate was normal. The myelogram showed megaloblastosis and the gastric biopsy showed atrophic gastritis. Treatment with parenteral B12 vitamin and folic acid reverted the symptoms, with normalization of the neuropsychological tests and reintegration to work (Rev Méd Chile 2003; 131: 915-9)

Keywords : Dementia; Tomography; emiss on computed; single photon; Vitamin B12 deficiency.

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