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Neurological changes in fruit bats deficient in vitamin B12


HAEMATOLOGICAL and neurological sequelae are the two major effects of vitamin B12 deficiency in man. In the haemopoietic system, megaloblastic change leading to anaemia seems to be caused by deranged DNA synthesis1. The cause of central nervous system demyelination, however, is unknown and progress in this area has been hampered by the lack of a suitable experimental animal model. We report that Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus), made vitamin B12 deficient in captivity, develop neurological changes similar to those observed in human subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord.

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GREEN, R., VAN TONDER, S., OETTLE, G. et al. Neurological changes in fruit bats deficient in vitamin B12. Nature 254, 148–150 (1975).

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