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Require advice regarding Myelin/VitB12 :D

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Require advice regarding Myelin/VitB12 :D

Postby djbellyboy » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:43 pm


i'm ollie and i've just come across a problem in my biology homework and need a few pointers. I was asked to research on vitamin B12 and find out all there is to know about what it does for the body and how serious deficiency is. Whilst researching, i came across the fact that without B12, the production of Myelin is restriced and Myelin begins to decay around the nervous cells. However, i'm not sure what effect this has on the cell....Is it that Myelin is used as a protectorate around the nuerone/axon or is it a vital part required for normal function of the cell?

I also could'ny find what greater effect this will have on the human body, but im thinking that as it is labelled as a serious deficiecy problem that it may be a major problem, such as paralysis.

thanks very much :D looking forward to reading your responses

x ollie
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Postby biohazard » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:36 am

Even though vitamin B12 is required by the nervous system, the most common symptom from its deficiency is pernicious anemia, which is an autoimmune state where cells producing the so-called instrinsic factor are destroyed and thus the absorption of the vitamin stops. This in turn also has some effects on the central nervous system, but anemia is the most prominent symptom. It is uncommon (although possible) to have a vitamin B12 deficiency unless you lack the intrinsic factor.

B12 causes some degree of demyelination if the deficiency has lasted for a relatively long time, but as far as I know this is quite rare. Anyway, myelin acts as a kind of insulator for neurons, and greatly enhances signalling speed e.g. in motor neurons. Thus demyelination of neurons causes problems in many neural functions and can be typically seen in demyelinating diseases such as the multiple sclerosis.
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Postby MichaelXY » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:45 am

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