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Cognitive and psychiatric effects of vitamin B12 replacement in dementia with low serum B12 levels: a nursing home study


van Dyck, Christopher H., Lyness, Jeffrey M., Rohrbaugh, Robert M., Siegal, Alan P.


International Psychogeriatrics / IPA, Volume: 21, No.: 1, Pages.: 138-147

Year of Publication



Background: The aim of this study is to determine whether B12 replacement would ameliorate cognitive and psychiatric symptoms in elderly subjects with dementia and low serum B12 levels.; Methods: A test group (n = 28) of nursing home residents with low serum B12 levels (<250 pg/mL) and a matched comparison group (n = 28) with normal serum B12 levels (>300 pg/mL) were evaluated by blinded raters while the test group received intramuscular (IM) B12 replacement therapy. All subjects were assessed at baseline, 8 weeks, and 16 weeks with the Dementia Rating Scale, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, and Geriatric Depression Scale.; Results: Although B12 replacement produced significant improvement in hematologic and metabolic parameters, it yielded no significant effect on cognitive or psychiatric variables. A few subjects evidenced notable individual treatment responses; however, these were not statistically more frequent than in the normal B12 group.; Conclusions: These results suggest that B12 replacement is unlikely to benefit cognitive or psychiatric symptoms in the vast majority of elderly dementia patients with low serum B12 levels.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{van_Dyck_2008, doi = {10.1017/s1041610208007904}, url = {}, year = 2008, month = {oct}, publisher = {Cambridge University Press ({CUP})}, volume = {21}, number = {01}, pages = {138}, author = {Christopher H. van Dyck and Jeffrey M. Lyness and Robert M. Rohrbaugh and Alan P. Siegal}, title = {Cognitive and psychiatric effects of vitamin B12 replacement in dementia with low serum B12 levels: a nursing home study}, journal = {{IPG}} }


administration & dosage, aged, aged, 80 and over, alzheimer disease, b12, brief psychiatric rating scale, cognition disorders, dementia multiinfarct, diagnosis, drug therapy, female, homes for the aged, humans, injections intramuscular, male, mental status schedule, nursing homes, psychology, psychometrics, statistics & numerical data, vitamin, vitamin b 12, vitamin b 12 deficiency

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Cognition, Depression and Anxiety


Nursing Homes

Type of Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Herbal remedies, vitamins, dietary supplements