Efficacy Study of Subcutaneous Methyl-B12 in Children With Autism

2014-08-27 03:46:51 | BioPortfolio


We will be testing a specific dietary supplement, methylcobalamin (vitamin B12). Follow-up assessments with our clinical team will take place over the 12-week study period so that we can record any changes in development. The main goal of this study is to determine if subcutaneous injections of vitamin B12 given every three days can positively affect behavior and development in children with autism.

Hypothesis: Methylcobalamin injections will improve measures of executive function, speech, and socialization in children with autism, and will be associated with metabolic improvement.


Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that is thought to involve an interaction between multiple and variable susceptibility genes (Keller & Persico, 2003), epigenetic effects (Beaudet, 2002), and environmental factors (London, 2000). The increase in the prevalence of autistic spectrum disorders from 4-5/10,000 in the 1980s to 30-60/10,000 in the last decade has raised great concern (Bertrand et al., 2001; DeStefano et al., 2004; Steinhausen et al., 1986; Yeargin-Allsopp et al., 2003). Research into potential therapeutic interventions designed to ameliorate the metabolic and clinical symptoms of autism is urgently needed to reduce the enormous public health burden of this disorder and to improve the quality of life for affected children and their families. Nutritional supplementation through subcutaneous injections of methyl B12 is a current treatment for children with autism that has anecdotal reports of remarkable clinical improvements and few side effects. However there are no published studies to support its clinical benefit.

Comparison: Injections of methylcobalamin compared to injections of sterile saline over a six week period.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Autistic Disorder


methylcobalamin, saline placebo


UC Davis MIND Institute
United States




University of California, Davis

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:46:51-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A disorder beginning in childhood. It is marked by the presence of markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted repertoire of activity and interest. Manifestations of the disorder vary greatly depending on the developmental level and chronological age of the individual. (DSM-IV)

A childhood disorder predominately affecting boys and similar to autism (AUTISTIC DISORDER). It is characterized by severe, sustained, clinically significant impairment of social interaction, and restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. In contrast to autism, there are no clinically significant delays in language or cognitive development. (From DSM-IV)

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A family of gram-negative, moderately halophilic bacteria in the order Oceanospirillales. Members of the family have been isolated from temperate and Antarctic saline lakes, solar salt facilities, saline soils, and marine environments.

An inherited neurological developmental disorder that is associated with X-LINKED INHERITANCE and may be lethal in utero to hemizygous males. The affected female is normal until the age of 6-25 months when progressive loss of voluntary control of hand movements and communication skills; ATAXIA; SEIZURES; autistic behavior; intermittent HYPERVENTILATION; and HYPERAMMONEMIA appear. (From Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p199)

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