Pernicious Anaemia/PD

Hi, has any research been done with regard to vitamin B12 deficiency in people with PD? My husand is going through a difficult phase with this deficiency; the symptoms of which appear to mimic PD such as protein problems, depression, confusion, vision problems, pins and needles, constipation etc. He has B12 injections three monthly and after two months he goes down-hill again. I would respect some advice on this. Many thanks.

Hi Ziggy

There is a known association in the research literature. Data suggest people with Parkinson's may have lower vitamin B12 levels, see this meta-analysis, and that B12 levels may decrease at Parkinson's progresses.

There is also some evidence that lower B12 levels may be linked to greater memory and thinking issues. Studies have also investigated the link between B12 intake and Parkinson's risk, but there seems to be no association here.

The studies suggest that taking B12 supplements may benefit some individuals with Parkinson's, but there is a lack of research evidence about how much or how often this should be prescribed. I hope this information is of use, but for advice we would recommend speaking to your specialist, Parkinson's nurse or GP.

With best wishes,

The Parkinson's UK Research Team

Hi Becky, thank you very much for your prompt and interesting reply. It has resolved the problem my husband has when the B12 injection wears off.

Kind regards.


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Hi Ziggy
My father has been diagnosed with PD for about 6 years now…from August last year he was prescribed vit B12 three monthly injections. We’ve noticed a pattern occurring in that every two months his health takes a severe decline…and then vastly improves within a week of the vit B12 injection… we have evidence of this occurring three times now over the last 12 months… I’ve asked for a test for pernicious anemia now as this carries similar symptoms to PD… there has to be a connection…how are things with your husband now?

Hi Vicky,

I noticed the same pattern with my husband; after two months of his injection, he goes downhill. I have now got permission from our GP to give him daily B12 tablets until his next injection is due; I purchase them myself. I feel there is definitely a connection between anaemia and PD; the symptoms are similar. My husband has had PD for 15 years, I kept mentioning he had anaemia when he was younger but no one would listen. I believe the anaemia caused him to have a stroke two years ago. Anaemia can also cause signs similar to Dementia, I believe. We live with this condition every day of our lives so why is it no one takes any notice? He is in a nursing home at the moment as I had a heart attack and could not lift him any more. I want him back home but cannot do so at the moment as I am awaiting another heart procedure, been waiting nearly a year now. This obviously places a financial burden on us; I expect to pay for him to be looked after, but the cost is astronimical and I, like many people in my position, are struggling at the moment. It is a crime to be elderly in this day and age; after working all our lives we are now being treated like second class citizens. I hope your father’s condition improves soon; make sure he drinks plenty of water as they quickly become dehydrated. Good luck.

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Hi Gloria
Thanks for the reply. I hope you recover quickly and he’s home again soon.

I’ll let you know if I get anywhere with my enquiries re B12.

Best of luck