Drug Discov Ther. 2020;14(3):122-128. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2020.03031)

High-dose vitamin B supplementation for persistent visual deficit in multiple sclerosis: a pilot study

Mallone F, Lucchino L, Franzone F, Marenco M, Carlesimo SC, Moramarco A


The aim of this study is to investigate the potential neuroprotective effect of high-doses vitamins B1, B6 and B12 in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and persistent visual loss after acute optic neuritis (AON). Sixteen patients (20 eyes) diagnosed with RRMS and visual permanent disability following AON were enrolled for the present open, pilot study. Each patient was treated with oral high-doses 300 mg of vitamin B1, 450 mg of vitamin B6 and 1,500 mcg of vitamin B12, as add-on treatment to concomitant disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for consecutive 90 days. Outcome measures were to determine changes from baseline to month three in visual acuity (VA) and visual field (VF) testing, with correlations with clinical parameters. Logistical regression was performed to evaluate predictors of final VA. A statistically significant improvement was registered in visual acuity (p = 0.002) and foveal sensitivity threshold (FT) (p = 0.006) at follow-up compared to baseline. A similar trend was demonstrated for mean deviation (MD) (p < 0.0001), and pattern standard deviation (PSD) (p < 0.0001). Age at the time of inclusion was positively correlated with latency time (rho = 0.47, p = 0.03), while showing a negative correlation with visual acuity (rho = – 0.45, p = 0.04) and foveal sensitivity threshold (rho = – 0.6, p = 0.005) at follow up. A statistically significant correlation was demonstrated between foveal sensitivity threshold and visual acuity at baseline (rho = 0.79, p < 0.0001). In a linear regression model, the main predictor of visual acuity at follow up was the foveal sensitivity threshold (B = 1.39; p < 0.0001). Supplemental high-dose vitamins B1, B6 and B12 resulted as effective therapy to improve visual function parameters in MS-related visual persistent disability.

KEYWORDS: B Vitamins group, visual function, neuroprotection

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