The neurological disorder complicating a deficiency of vitamin B12 or folate and often combined with pernicious anaemia, which causes malabsorption of the vitamin B12 by the production of intrinsic factor antibodies. There is selective damage to the motor and sensory nerve fibres in the spinal cord, resulting in spasticity of the limbs and a sensory ataxia. It may also be accompanied by damage to the peripheral nerves and the optic nerve and by dementia. It is treated by giving vitamin B12 injections.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.