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Characterization of Vitamin B12 Supplementation and Correlation with Clinical Outcomes in a Large Longitudinal Study of Early Parkinson's Disease.

  • Author(s): Dietiker, Cameron;
  • Kim, Soeun;
  • Zhang, Yunxi;
  • Christine, Chadwick W
  • et al.


In Parkinson's disease (PD), vitamin B12 levels are lower, and comorbid B12 deficiency has been associated with the development of neuropathy and early gait instability. Because little is known about B12 supplement use in PD, we sought to evaluate its use in a large PD cohort and, as an exploratory analysis, to determine whether baseline characteristics or disease progression differed according to B12 supplementation.


We utilized data collected as part of the National Institutes of Health Exploratory Trials in PD (NET-PD) Long-term Study (LS-1), a longitudinal study of 1,741 participants. We stratified subjects into 4 groups according to daily supplement use: no B12, multivitamin (MVI) containing < 100 μg B12, B12 ≥ 100 μg, and MVI + B12 ≥ 100 μg. Clinical outcomes were assessed at 3 years for each group using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), its subscores, and selected individual questions.


Of the 1,147 participants who completed the 3-year visit, 41% took an MVI, 2% took B12, 3% took MVI + B12, and 54% reported taking no supplements. At 3 years, no significant differences in clinical outcomes were observed. However, there was a trend toward lower hazard ratios for developing sensory symptoms (UPDRS Item 17) in the MVI (p = 0.08) and B12 + MVI (p = 0.08) groups compared to that in the no supplement group.


These results show that supplementation with vitamin B12 ≥ 100 μg is uncommon in early PD. The finding of a trend toward a lower hazard ratio for the development of sensory symptoms in those taking an MVI or B12 + MVI warrants further study.

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