Plasma Vitamin B12 Level as a Potential Cofactor in Studies of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1—Related Cognitive Changes

Richard S. Beach, Robert Morgan, Frances Wilkie, Emilio Mantero-Atienza, Nancy Blaney, Gail Shor-Posner, Ying Lu, Carl Eisdorfer, Marianna K. Baum

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Abstract

Studies of cognitive function in subjects with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection who remain relatively asymptomatic (ie, Centers for Disease Control stages II and III) have provided widely variable estimates of cognitive impairment. In view of the finding that approximately 25% of asymptomatic HIV-1-infected subjects demonstrate either marginal or overt vitamin B12 deficiency, we have investigated plasma vitamin B12 status as a potential cofactor in studies of HIV-1-related cognitive impairment. When cognition was assessed in asymptomatic (Centers for Disease Control stages II and III) HIV-1-infected participants taking into consideration vitamin B12 status, those subjects with low plasma vitamin B12 levels (<180 pmol/L) performed more poorly than did those with normal (≥180 pmol/L) vitamin B12 status on specific measures of information processing speed and visuospatial problem-solving skills. These findings suggest that concurrent vitamin B12 deficiency may be a cofactor in subtle cognitive changes observed in the asymptomatic stages of HIV-1 infection. These differences in prevalence of low plasma vitamin B12 levels may help to explain differences among studies in the proportion of HIV-1-infected subjects showing cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-506
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of neurology
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1992

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Beach, R. S., Morgan, R., Wilkie, F., Mantero-Atienza, E., Blaney, N., Shor-Posner, G., Lu, Y., Eisdorfer, C., & Baum, M. K. (1992). Plasma Vitamin B12 Level as a Potential Cofactor in Studies of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1—Related Cognitive Changes. Archives of neurology, 49(5), 501-506. https://doi.org/10.1001/archneur.1992.00530290089016