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Vitamin Deficiency May Worsen Motor Neuron Disease

  May, 24 2001 21:59
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Vitamin Deficiency May Worsen Motor Neuron Disease
May 25, 2001

HHMI researchers have found evidence that suggests
that insufficient amounts of folic acid and vitamin
B12 in the diet may exacerbate spinal muscular
atrophy (SMA), a genetic disease that attacks motor neurons.

SMA is the most common genetic cause of infant mortality,
affecting about one in 6,000 newborns. The disease causes
progressive muscle weakness, wasting, and atrophy as motor
neurons degenerate. The scientists are planning to collaborate
with clinicians to determine whether folic acid and
vitamin B12 might ameliorate the severity of symptoms
in people with SMA.

Research published in the May 2001 issue of the journal
Molecular Cell.

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