Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency is common in developing and underdeveloped countries and has a wide variety of neurological presentations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the neurological characteristics and laboratory results of infants with vitamin B12 deficiency. Materials and methods: A total of 42 infants were included in this study. All patients were evaluated for clinical, physical, and neurological abnormalities, and an attempt was made to obtain short-term neurologic follow-up. Results: Of 42 patients, 24 (57%) were boys and 18 (43%) were girls. The average age at diagnosis was 13.04 ± 5.68 months. Most of these infants were breastfed only and born from mothers with inadequate animal-derived protein consumption. Hypotonia (100%), anorexia (92.8%), neurodevelopmental (85.7%), and social (80.9%) retardation were the most present symptoms in all infants. Conclusion: Severe neurological and hematological findings may be found in children with vitamin B12 deficiency. Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial in cases of hematological complications and neurologic impairment. Neurologic impairment may be irreversible if the diagnosis is delayed beyond 12 months. We think that dietary management, such as nutritional support with vitamin B12 for the mothers during pregnancy and complementary food for infants, may prevent the neurological deficits and neurodevelopmental retardation.


Neurological presentation, hypotonia, nutrition, vitamin B12 deficiency, infancy

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