Vitamin B12 deficiency in children: a treatable cause of neurodevelopmental delay

J Child Neurol. 2015 Apr;30(5):641-3. doi: 10.1177/0883073813516194. Epub 2014 Jan 21.


Vitamin B12 deficiency in children can rarely cause neurologic manifestations. In this series, 14 pediatric cases (median age 11 months) have been described in whom association of vitamin B12 deficiency with developmental delay or regression was observed. Severe to profound delay was present in 8 (57%) patients. All the patients were exclusively or predominantly breast-fed and 10 of 12 mothers had low serum vitamin B12 levels. Three to 6 months after treatment, a mean gain of development quotient of 38.8 points was seen in 7 follow-ups. In settings with a high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency, this association should be actively searched for.

Keywords: children; developmental delay; vitamin B12 deficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Developmental Disabilities / blood*
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / blood*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / complications


  • Vitamin B 12