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Posted by CCF Neuro MD on January 20, 1998 at 09:29:28:
In Reply to: Vitamin B-12 Deficiency posted by DRM on January 17, 1998 at 16:28:36:
: Could you please tell when a person is suffering from vitamin B-12 deficiency do the symptoms continue to progress or do they come and go like the episodes of MS? Also during a examation can a neuro or family doctor tell the difference? What leads them to think of vitamin B-12 deficency and not MS or vice versa? Thanks for any help.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is like any deficiency state, while the deficiency
exists the condition continues to progress, when B12 has been replaced the
process is halted. It does not come and go like MS.
There are similarities between the conditions but involvement of the
eyes and part of the brain called the cerebellum suggests that MS is
more likely, symptoms limited certain nerve fiber tracts of
the spinal cord suggest B12 deficiency.
The distinction is easy enough to make by means of testing blood
levels of B12 and its products, in MS the MRI changes are usually
distinctive, a spinal tap would further clarify the issue.
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