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  • Vitamin B₁₂ deficiency or hypocobalaminemia typically features a low blood level of vitamin B₁₂; however, functional B₁₂ deficiency can occur at any serum level; with or without anaemia and/or macrocytosis. The deficiency is common to all age groups and is sometimes diagnosed late due to the lack of a gold standard assay and its complex aetiology. Neuropsychiatric symptoms can precede hematologic signs and are often the presenting manifestation of B₁₂ deficiency. B₁₂ deficiency can cause permanent damage to nervous tissue if left untreated longer than 6 months. B₁₂ assays may be vulnerable to interference resulting in normal values despite severe B₁₂ deficiency. The standard CBLA B₁₂ test Vitamin B₁₂ itself was discovered through investigation of pernicious anemia, which is an autoimmune disease that destroys parietal cells in the stomach that secrete intrinsic factor. Pernicious anemia and B₁₂ deficiency, if left untreated, can be fatal. Once identified, however, the blood level can be raised very easily but the nerve deterioration can continue if the medication is not of the requisite dosage. It cannot be cured and ongoing treatment is required.

Freebase Commons Medicine /medicine

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