The prevalence of B12 deficiency in patients with methamphetamine abuse

Methamphetamine abuse can make neurological damages. These neurological damages may remain even after disruption of abuse. In this study, we inspected the prevalence of B12 deficiency in the methamphetamine abuser patients as a factor that can make longitudinal brain damages.

Method

We visited all the patients that referred to “Afarinesh” addiction clinic in Iran, and asked them whether they have had any vitamin B12 injections or eating along their metamphetamine abusing period. If the answer was negative, we would measure their serum vitamin B12 level.

Result

14 of the volunteers were suitable for this study. All of them were men and their age varied between 25 to 43 years. The average age was 29 years. In 3 patients out of 14 patients, the serum vitamin B12 level was under 200pg/ml. This study showed that 21 percent of the patients with metamphetamine abuse significantly suffered from Vitamin B12 deficiency.

In 5 other patients, the serum Vitamin B12 level was between 200 and 350pg/ml. This study showed that 35 percent of the patients with metamphetamine abuse may suffer from covered Vitamin B12 deficiency and they need other tests such as serum methylmalonic acid level for diagnosing Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Conclusion

Regarding to the high prevalence of serum Vitamin B12 deficiency in the patients with metamphetamine abuse, in this field, a case control study is recommended.

Writer: Dr Mahsa Houshdar

Rrefrences

  1. Merck Manual,18th edition, page 39
  2. Merck Manual,18th edition, page 39