Department of Nutrition at the University of California Davis, Davis, California, USA
USDA ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center, Davis, California, USA
Correspondence:DK Dror, Allen Lab, USDA ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center, 430 West Health Sciences Drive, Davis, CA 95616, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: +1-530-220-0196, Fax: +1-530-752-5271
Daphna K Dror, Lindsay H Allen; Effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on neurodevelopment in infants: current knowledge and possible mechanisms. Nutr Rev 2008; 66 (5): 250-255. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00031.x
Severe vitamin B12 deficiency produces a cluster of neurological symptoms in infants, including irritability, failure to thrive, apathy, anorexia, and developmental regression, which respond remarkably rapidly to supplementation. The underlying mechanisms may involve delayed myelination or demyelination of nerves; alteration in the S-adenosylmethionine:S-adenosylhomocysteine ratio; imbalance of neurotrophic and neurotoxic cytokines; and/or accumulation of lactate in brain cells. This review summarizes the current knowledge concerning infantile vitamin B12 deficiency, including a pooled analysis of case studies of infants born to mothers with untreated pernicious anemia or a strict vegetarian lifestyle and a discussion of the mechanisms that may underlie the manifestations of deficiency.