Vitamin B12

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Vitamin B12

Postby Shayk » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:35 pm

Here’s an interesting abstract:
Vitamin B12, demyelination, remyelination and repair in MS.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and vitamin B12 deficiency share common inflammatory and neurodegenerative pathophysiological characteristics. Due to similarities in the clinical presentations and MRI findings, the differential diagnosis between vitamin B12 deficiency and MS may be difficult. Additionally, low or decreased levels of vitamin B12 have been demonstrated in MS patients. Moreover, recent studies suggest that vitamin B12, in addition to its known role as a co-factor in myelin formation, has important immunomodulatory and neurotrophic effects. These observations raise the questions of possible causal relationship between the two disorders, and suggest further studies of the need to close monitoring of vitamin B12 levels as well as the potential requirement for supplementation of vitamin B12 alone or in combination with the immunotherapies for MS patients.

While I knew that Vitamin B12 deficiency was one of those things that’s typically ruled out when a diagnosis of MS is being considered, I found a lot I didn’t know (no surprise there :lol: ) when I read the article.

The neurologic manifestations begin pathologically with demyelination, followed by axonal degeneration and eventual irreversible damage due to axonal death…The patient first notices general weakness and parasthesias. As the illness progresses the gait becomes unsteady and stiffness and weakness of the limbs develop, as well as ataxic paraplegia. The Lhermitte phenonmenon is not an uncommon finding. Mental signs are frequent and range from irritability, apathy, somnolence and emotional instability to marked confusional or depressive states. Visual impairment due to optic neuropathy may occasionally be the earliest or sole manifestation.

The diagnosis of cobalamin (B12) deficiency is typically based on measurement of serum vitamin B12. However, about 50% of patients with subclinical disease have normal B12 levels.

….low or decreased levels of Vitamin B12 have been demonstrated in MS patients…..

cobalamin deficiency may exacerbate existing MS by worsening the inflammatory and demyelination processes, as well as slowing remyelination and repair….

….High dose methylprednisolone therapy of MS patients was reported to lead to a significant decrease in vitamin B12 CSF levels and to a trend of reduction in serum B12 levels.….

A study recently conducted in our laboratory demonstrated that immuno-therapy of MS patients with IFN-ß and to a lesser extent with Cop-1 (Copaxone) is associated with a significant reduction in vitamin B12 serum levels.

Overall it looks to me like Vitamin B12 supplementation might be a really good thing for lots of reasons. Are there any reasons why people with MS should not use Vitamin B 12?


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Postby Arcee » Thu Jun 16, 2005 7:27 am

Sharon -

Thanks for that info. I was advised to take B12 and I take 1000 mcg under the tongue twice a day. B12 is supposed to help with energy and depression and at least for me it (or my belief in it) is working: energy has never been better and no problems with depression. (Fish oil supplements may also be helping with the latter.)

- Arcee
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Postby dignan » Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:41 am

B12 is definitely being evaluated to see if it'll help us.

Mario Moscarello, PhD
Fabrizio Mastronardi, PhD
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
$177,730 (April 1/04 - March 31/06)

Vitamin B12 in combination therapy induces remyelination

MS is characterized by the patchy destruction of the myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibres. If myelin is not properly repaired, symptoms of MS start to develop.

An effective therapy must therefore have a double action. It should stop myelin destruction while rebuilding the myelin sheath, a job that is normally done by oligodendrocyte cells.

The results from previous work funded by the MS Society convinced these researchers that combining vitamin B12 and beta interferon might provide the double action of stopping myelin destruction and rebuilding myelin. It was able to stop myelin loss, reduce clinical signs, and restore near to normal function in mice that develop an MSlike disease (DM20 transgenic mice and acute and chronic EAE mice). Drs. Moscarello and Mastronardi saw similar clinical results when vitamin B12 was added to paclitaxel, a well known cancer drug. They also found that vitamin B12 and beta interferon therapy alters the levels of Notch- 1, Jagged-1 and Sonic hedgehog. These interestingly named molecules help immature oligodendrocytes to become mature, myelin-making cells.

With their renewed funding, they plan to study how vitamin B12 synergizes with other drugs to alleviate the clinical symptoms of MS-like disease. They hope their studies in mice can be applied to people to improve the clinical picture of MS. ... 202004.pdf
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