Multiple Sclerosis

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 reversibly blocks the progression of relapsing encephalomyelitis, a model of multiple sclerosis.

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an autoimmune disease believed to be a model for the human disease multiple sclerosis (MS). Induced by immunizing B10.PL mice with myelin basic protein (MBP), EAE was completely prevented by the administration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitaminD3 [1,25-(OH)2D3]. 1,25-(OH)2D3 could also prevent the progression of EAE when administered at the appearance of the first disability symptoms. Withdrawal of 1,25-(OH)2D3 resulted in a resumption of the progression of EAE. Thus, the block by 1,25-(OH)2D3 is reversible.

High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and reduced bone mass in multiple sclerosis.

Female patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at risk for osteoporosis because of gender, immobility, and corticosteroid use.

Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry in 80 female MS patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital. All patients completed a questionnaire that included measurements of dietary intake and sunlight exposure. Biochemical indices of bone metabolism and turnover were measured in a random sample of 52 patients.

Megaloblastic anaemia in vegetarian Asians.

Of 27 Asians with a megaloblastic bone marrow, 22 (81%) had nutritional deficiency of vitamin B12 (NMA), while five (19%) had true pernicious anaemia (PA). All the patients were Hindu vegetarians except for a single Muslim who had PA. Dietary intakes of calories, protein, iron, vitamin B12 and folate were below the recommended level in both groups. The PA group had lower levels of serum B12 and higher levels of serum folate than the NMA group.

Vitamin D deficiency rickets and vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarian children.

During the years 1978-83 four vegetarian children have been admitted to the pediatric departments of Ullevaal and Aker Hospitals in Oslo and Haukeland Hospital, Bergen, with the diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency rickets. One had vitamin B12 deficiency as well. All had been fed a vegetarian diet with some cows' milk, but without vitamin supplementation. All had marked hypocalcemia, and three had tetany or convulsions. All responded well to conventional doses of vitamin D therapy. Two of the mothers had vitamin D deficiency, and one of them also had vitamin B12 deficiency.

Megaloblastic anaemia in a vegetarian Hindu community.

138 Indian patients with megaloblastic haemopoiesis were studied. All were lifelong vegetarians. The diagnosis was nutritional cobalamin deficiency in 95 and pernicious anaemia in 20; only 4 patients had folate deficiency. A third had intestinal malabsorption, 20 had features of osteomalacia, and 87 were iron deficient. Tuberculosis was diagnosed in 17. Cobalamin deficiency may have contributed to these complications via intestinal malabsorption and impaired bacterial killing of phagocytosed bacilli by cobalamin-deficient macrophages.

Nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency in a breast-fed infant of a vegan-diet mother

A 7-month-old male presented with lethargy and failure to thrive. The child was exclusively breast-fed from birth by a mother who was a strict vegetarian. Laboratory data revealed macrocytic anemia and methylmalonic acid in the urine, consistent with vitamin B12 deficient anemia. The patient responded well to supplementation with B12 alone and was developmentally normal by 11 months of age. This study emphasizes the need for assuring maternal dietary adequacy during pregnancy and after birth.

Megaloblastic anaemia in one of monozygous twins breast fed by their vegetarian mother.

Megaloblastic anaemia in infancy is uncommon in western countries. We describe a case of an exclusively breast-fed monozygous twin with severe vitamin B12 deficiency with haematologic and neurologic abnormalities. Treatment with vitamin B12 resulted in a rapid haematological and clinical improvement.


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