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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. Humans obtain almost all of their vitamin B12 from dietary means. Pernicious anemia is usually the result of insufficient secretion of intrinsic factor within the stomach. Other more subtle types of vitamin B12 deficiency have been elucidated, including the biochemical effects, over the course of time in significant numbers. Wikipedia

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