Central sensory and motor conduction in vitamin B12 deficiency

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. Sep-Oct 1992;84(5):433-9. doi: 10.1016/0168-5597(92)90030-f.


Four patients with subacute combined degeneration were studied through upper and lower limb SEPs recorded with a non-cephalic reference montage and through cortical and spinal magnetic stimulation. Clinical signs were confined to the lower limbs in 3 patients; the remaining patient presented only paraesthesiae in 4 limbs. Median nerve SEPs showed a normal cervical N13 response with a significant increase of central conduction time concerning exclusively the P9-P14 interpeak interval. Central motor conduction to upper and lower limb muscles was abnormal. Nerve conduction studies provided no evidence of peripheral nerve involvement. These electrophysiological findings suggest that in vitamin B12 deficiency the higher segments of the cervical cord are usually affected first and that central sensory and motor conduction studies are sensitive methods for detecting such damage.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Aged
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Spinal Cord / physiopathology
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / physiopathology*