The neuropsychiatry of megaloblastic anaemia.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.281.6247.1036 (Published 18 October 1980)
Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:1036
  1. S D Shorvon,
  2. M W Carney,
  3. I Chanarin,
  4. E H Reynolds

    Abstract

    The neuropsychiatric states of 50 patients with vitamin B12 deficiency and 34 patients with folate deficiency presenting with megaloblastosis in a general hospital were examined and compared. Abnormalities of the nervous system were found in two-thirds of both groups. Peripheral neuropathy was the most common condition associated with vitamin B12 deficiency and affective disorder with folate deficiency. The proportions of patients with organic mental change were similar in the two groups. Subacute combined degeneration of the cord was an uncommon complication and occurred only in the patients with vitamin B12 deficiency. There was no relation between haematological and neuropsychiatric abnormalities. The neuropsychiatry of megaloblastic anaemia seen in this study of patients presenting to haematologists or general physicians contrasts with that reported previously, before haematological techniques for separating the two deficiencies were introduced.

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