Low B12 Seen in Aging, Autism, and

Sydney Schultz

Low B12 Seen in Aging, Autism, and Schizophrenia

Article Summary

Author Christopher Wanjek wrote the article, “Low B12 Seen in Aging, Autism, and Schizophrenia” for the online website, Live Science, on February 10, 2016. In summary, scientist Richard Deth has been conducting research that proposes deficient vitamin B12 levels are seen in the elderly and in younger people with autism and schizophrenia. Deth suggests that autism, dementia, and schizophrenia may be related to poor uptake of vitamin B12 from the blood into the brain (Wanjek, 2016). In his study, he examined the brains of postmortem individuals ranging from a fetus to eighty years in age. He concluded the B12 levels in the brain were ten times lower in the elderly than younger (Wanjek, 2016). His results also indicated the B12 levels in the brains of children with autism and middle-aged people with schizophrenia were three times lower than people of the same age who were unaffected. His study then revealed the B12 level in children under ten with autism were similar to the levels of an unaffected person in their 50's. In addition, the adults with schizophrenia had similar B12 levels found in unaffected people in their 70's. Researchers believe low B12 in these affected individuals might stem from oxidative stress. In conclusion, very low levels of vitamin B12 can be damaging and might “hinder the brain’s ability to establish important neural connections between regions” (Wanjek, 2016).

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Foods rich in vitamin B12

Article Critique

The article, “Low B12 seen in Aging, Autism, and Schizophrenia” by Christopher Wanjek came from a reliable source. The source, Live Science, is a science news website that is up to date with developments in health and science. Wanjek, a skilled journalist who mainly focuses his work on health and science, writes for Live Science often. He earned his bachelor's degree studying journalism from Temple University and then earned his master's degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, one of the most prestigious universities worldwide (Wanjek, 2016). So far, Wanjek has written two books, “Bad Medicine: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Distance healing to Vitamin O" and "Food at Work: Workplace Solutions for Malnutrition, Obesity, and Chronic Diseases" in addition to his plethora of journal entries to Live Science (Wanjek, 2016). In the past, Wanjek worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland as an astronomy writer for several credible astronomy magazines, and still holds the position as a columnist for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Mercury Magazine. In junction with Live Science, Wanjek has also written articles for CBS and the Washington Post. The information posted in the article was objective and straightforward. It was well written and based on scientific evidence. He offered explanations and interviewed Richard Deth about the study he was conducting. He included statistics and examples which gave the reader a closer look at how low levels of vitamin B12 may relate to aging, autism, and schizophrenia. Ultimately, all of this information leads me to believe this is a credible, current, objective, and reliable source.

Above is the link to the article I used for the assignment.


Wanjek, C. (2016, February 10). "Low B12 Levels Seen in Aging, Autism, and Schizophrenia." Retrieved April 07, 2016 from http://www.livescience.com/53675-vitamin-b12-aging-autism-schizophrenia.html.