Vitamin B12 is credited for many important functions in the body and chief among them is supporting proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. Lacking the vitamin therefore causes the body to undergo a number of unsettling changes. Some of the most serious signs of B12 deficiency are those related impaired brain function which in turn affects one’s cognitive abilities. If you are experiencing difficulties with thinking and reasoning, it could be due to a lack of B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause problems with thinking, which doctors refer to as cognitive impairment.
These issues include difficulty thinking or reasoning and memory loss.
Studies have even linked having a low vitamin B12 levels to having an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and even Parkinson’s disease.
The reduced amount of oxygen reaching the brain might be to blame for the thinking and reasoning problems.
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, cognitive impairment and vitamin B12 deficiencies was further examined.
The study noted: “This review examines the associations between low vitamin B12 levels, neurodegenerative disease, and cognitive impairment.
“A systematic literature search identified 43 studies investigating the association of vitamin B12 and cognitive impairment or dementia.
“Vitamin B12 levels in the subclinical low-normal range are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.
“Vegetarianism and metformin use contribute to depressed vitamin B12 levels and may independently increase the risk for cognitive impairment.”
The study concluded that low serum vitamin B12 levels are associated with neurodegenerative disease and cognitive impairment.
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In another study which was published in Cureus, having low vitamin B12 levels and cognitive impairment was studied.
“Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked to impaired cognition and memory along with a sensation of tingling and numbness, an outcome of poor myelination.
“We conducted a cross-sectional, multicentre study of patients with minimal cognitive impairment (MCI) to assess for Vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels.
“All patients found to be deficient in vitamin B12 underwent replacement therapy and were assessed again after three months via the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and a review of symptoms.”
The results of the study indicated that vitamin B12 deficiency is linked to cognition, and replacement therapy may be an option to improve patient cognition outcomes.
Vitamin B12 deficiencies can be slow to develop, causing symptoms to appear gradually and intensify over time.
Given the vast array of symptoms a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause, the condition can be overlooked or confused with something else.
The more common symptoms to look out for include:
- Strange sensations, numbness, or tingling in the hands, legs, or feet
- Difficulty walking (staggering, balance problems)
- A swollen, inflamed tongue
- Difficulty thinking and reasoning (cognitive difficulties), or memory loss
The treatment for vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia depends on what’s causing the condition.
Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia is usually treated with injections of vitamin B12.
Anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells in the blood, or the amount of haemoglobin in them, is lower than normal, causing a condition in which red blood cells are not able to supply enough oxygen to all the tissues in the body.
There are two types of vitamin B12 injections:
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