SAN DIEGO, Oct. 30 -- Preliminary results of a small ongoing study of vitamin B12 injections for children with autism showed no signs of significant benefit, researchers reported here, but they remained hopeful.
So said Lesley J. Deprey, Ph.D., of the University of California at Davis, and colleagues, in a poster presentation at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry meeting here.
Their hope, they noted, derived from "anecdotal reports of remarkable clinical improvements" using subcutaneous vitamin B12 (methyl cobalamin), although there have been no supporting published studies. Vitamin B12 is an antioxidant involved in metabolism pathways for cellular methylation, which has been implicated in other neurological disorders like schizophrenia and Alzheimer's Disease.
The researchers reported that no significant benefits have turned up yet for the 14 patients who have completed three months in the current double-blind crossover study. They found no significant differences with active versus placebo treatment for the following measures:
- Clinical Global Impression Scale Improvement (P=0.4129),
- Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test scores (P=0.2895), and
- Social Communication Questionnaire verbal results (P=0.4211).
A significant improvement found for nonverbal Social Communication Questionnaire scores in the vitamin B12 group compared to placebo (P=0.0309) disappeared after adjusting for multiple testing.