Cognitive Decline - Dementia

The Gluten File

Vitamin B12 deficiency and Dementia

Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a dementia that is similiar to Alzheimer's Disease. Vitamin B12 deficiency often goes undetected because the low range lab values are set too low, and one can have B12 deficiency in the absence of other hematologic findings.  Vitamin B12 deficiency is not uncommon in Celiac Disease, but there are many, many other causes of B12 deficiency.  

High-dose vitamin B12 for at-home prevention and reversal of Alzheimer's disease and other diseases - Townsend Letter May 2006 

Familial Alzheimer's disease and vitamin B12 deficiency - Age and Ageing July 1994 

B12-deficiency can cause a dementia that looks exactly like Alzheimer’s disease. And Alzheimer’s disease itself is characterized by brain deficiencies of both vitamin B12 and the methylating factor, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). A new study from Germany correlates B12 deficiency in Alzheimer’s patients with two personality changes—irritability and disturbed behavior.
Vitamin B12: Suprising New Findings - LE Magazine Dec 2000

Pub Med abstracts:

It was possible to detect, both in patients with MCI (1.5% and in patients with dementia (3.5%, a non-significant difference), abnormal metabolic values, indicating poorly controlled diabetes, renal failure, hyponatremia, folate or vitamin B12 deficiency and hyperthyroidism, which correction led to clinical improvement. The majority (62.5% of these alterations were previously unknown. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
The use of laboratory tests in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment.
PMID: 16988482 Nov 2006

The average initial Short Test of Mental Status score was 28 of a total of 38 (range, 18-34), which was in the moderately impaired range. The results of neuropsychological testing suggested a trend of a frontosubcortical pattern of impairment. Ten patients had ataxia, and 4 of them also had peripheral neuropathy. Magnetic resonance imaging of the head showed nonspecific T2 hyperintensities, and electroencephalography showed nonspecific diffuse slowing. Deficiencies in folate, vitamin B(12), vitamin E, or a combination were identified in 4 patients, yet supplementation did not improve their neurological symptoms. Three patients improved or stabilized cognitively with gluten withdrawal. A detailed histological analysis revealed nonspecific gliosis. 
Cognitive impairment and celiac disease.
PMID: 17030661 Oct 2006

Depending on the biochemical criterion that is used, 5% to more than 20% of older adults have marginal or frank vitamin B12 deficiency.
What is an adequate dose of oral vitamin B12 in older people with poor vitamin B12 status?
PMID: 16958314 Aug 2006

Clinical relevance of low serum vitamin B12 concentrations in older people: the Banbury B12 study. PMID: 16709605 July 2006 

These findings suggest that cobalamin deficiency may cause a reversible dementia in elderly patients. This dementia may be differentiated from that of Alzheimer's disease by a thorough neuropsychological evaluation.
Neuropsychology of vitamin B12 deficiency in elderly dementia patients and control subjects.
PMID: 15681626 March 2005 

Depression, B12 deficiency, and hypothyroidism should be screened for and treated in patients with dementia.
A synopsis of the practice parameters on dementia from the american academy of neurology on the diagnosis of dementia.
PMID: 16553467 Jan 2004

We report 5 patients who developed dementia before age 60 and were subsequently found to have celiac disease (CD). Intellectual deterioration ranged from moderate to severe, and diffuse cerebral or cerebellar atrophy was found on brain CT. Diagnosis of CD was confirmed by findings of subtotal villous atrophy in jejunal biopsy specimens and positive serum reticulin and gliadin antibodies. Conspicuously, gastrointestinal symptoms were mild. The gluten-free diet failed to improve the neurologic disability except in 1 patient. [would earlier detection have helped the others? jcc]
Celiac disease, brain atrophy, and dementia.
PMID: 2006004  Mar 1991