12 Deficiency in the Elderly
Sudeep S. Gill, MD, FRCP(C), Research Fellow, Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Toronto and Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, Toronto, ON.
Shabbir M.H. Alibhai, MD, MSc, FRCP(C), Staff Physician, Department of Medicine, University Health Network, Toronto, ON.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common disorder in older adults, but its diagnostic work-up and management can be complex. In this article, we review the metabolic pathways involving vitamin B12 and the various pathologies that can interfere with these pathways. This discussion provides a framework to understand the following section, which outlines an approach to the clinical examination, laboratory evaluation and treatment of subjects with suspected vitamin B12 deficiency.
Key words: vitamin B12, folic acid, deficiency diseases, dementia, aging.