Abstract

Introduction: Abuse of nitrous oxide (N2O) has an unusually high lifetime prevalence in developed countries and represents a serious concern worldwide. Myeloneuropathy following the inhalant abuse is commonly attributed to the disturbance of vitamin B12 metabolism, with severe motor deficits are often noted. The present study aims to elucidate its underlying pathophysiology. Methods: Eighteen patients with N2O abuse or vitamin B12 deficiency were recruited. Comprehensive central and peripheral neuro-diagnostic tests were performed, including whole spine MRI, and thermal quantitative sensory testing (QST). Specifically, paired motor and sensory nerve excitability tests were performed in order to obtain a complete picture of the sensorimotor axonal damage. Results: The mean duration of N2O exposure for the N2O abuse patients was 17.13 ± 7.23 months. MRI revealed T2 hyperintensity in 87.5% of the N2O abuse patients and 50% of the vitamin B12 deficiency patients. In N2O abuse patients, the motor nerve excitability test showed decreased in peak response (7.08 ± 0.87 mV, P = 0.05), increased latency (7.09 ± 0.28 ms, P < 0.01), increased superexcitability (−32.95 ± 1.74%, P < 0.05), and decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (40-60 ms) 56.53 ± 0.70%, P < 0.05]; the sensory test showed only decreased peak response (30.54 ± 5.98 μV, P < 0.05). Meanwhile, motor test in vitamin B12 deficiency patients showed only decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (40-60 ms) 55.72 ± 1.60%, P < 0.01]; the sensory test showed decreased peak response (25.86 ± 3.44 μV, P < 0.05) increased superexcitability (−28.58 ± 3.71%, P < 0.001), increased subexcitability (8.31 ± 1.64%, P < 0.05), and decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (peak) 67.31 ± 3.35%, P < 0.001]. Conclusion: Compared to vitamin B12 deficiency, N2O abuse patients showed prominent motor superexcitability changes and less prominent sensory superexcitability changes, hinting a unique pathological process different from that of vitamin B12 deficiency. N2O abuse might cause axonal dysfunction not only by blocking methionine metabolism but also by toxicity affecting the paranodal region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number704
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume10
Issue numberJUL
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

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Vitamin B 12 Deficiency
Nitrous Oxide
Inhalant Abuse
Pathologic Processes
Vitamin B 12
Routine Diagnostic Tests
Developed Countries
Methionine
Spine
Hot Temperature

Keywords

  • Inhalant
  • Myeloneuropathy
  • Nerve excitability test
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Vitamin B12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Elucidating unique axonal dysfunction between nitrous oxide abuse and Vitamin B12 deficiency. / Tani, Jowy; Weng, Hsing Yu; Chen, Hung Ju; Chang, Tsui San; Sung, Jia Ying; Lin, Cindy Shin Yi.

In: Frontiers in Neurology, Vol. 10, No. JUL, 704, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Introduction: Abuse of nitrous oxide (N2O) has an unusually high lifetime prevalence in developed countries and represents a serious concern worldwide. Myeloneuropathy following the inhalant abuse is commonly attributed to the disturbance of vitamin B12 metabolism, with severe motor deficits are often noted. The present study aims to elucidate its underlying pathophysiology. Methods: Eighteen patients with N2O abuse or vitamin B12 deficiency were recruited. Comprehensive central and peripheral neuro-diagnostic tests were performed, including whole spine MRI, and thermal quantitative sensory testing (QST). Specifically, paired motor and sensory nerve excitability tests were performed in order to obtain a complete picture of the sensorimotor axonal damage. Results: The mean duration of N2O exposure for the N2O abuse patients was 17.13 ± 7.23 months. MRI revealed T2 hyperintensity in 87.5{\%} of the N2O abuse patients and 50{\%} of the vitamin B12 deficiency patients. In N2O abuse patients, the motor nerve excitability test showed decreased in peak response (7.08 ± 0.87 mV, P = 0.05), increased latency (7.09 ± 0.28 ms, P < 0.01), increased superexcitability (−32.95 ± 1.74{\%}, P < 0.05), and decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (40-60 ms) 56.53 ± 0.70{\%}, P < 0.05]; the sensory test showed only decreased peak response (30.54 ± 5.98 μV, P < 0.05). Meanwhile, motor test in vitamin B12 deficiency patients showed only decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (40-60 ms) 55.72 ± 1.60{\%}, P < 0.01]; the sensory test showed decreased peak response (25.86 ± 3.44 μV, P < 0.05) increased superexcitability (−28.58 ± 3.71{\%}, P < 0.001), increased subexcitability (8.31 ± 1.64{\%}, P < 0.05), and decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (peak) 67.31 ± 3.35{\%}, P < 0.001]. Conclusion: Compared to vitamin B12 deficiency, N2O abuse patients showed prominent motor superexcitability changes and less prominent sensory superexcitability changes, hinting a unique pathological process different from that of vitamin B12 deficiency. N2O abuse might cause axonal dysfunction not only by blocking methionine metabolism but also by toxicity affecting the paranodal region.",
keywords = "Inhalant, Myeloneuropathy, Nerve excitability test, Nitrous oxide, Vitamin B12",
author = "Jowy Tani and Weng, {Hsing Yu} and Chen, {Hung Ju} and Chang, {Tsui San} and Sung, {Jia Ying} and Lin, {Cindy Shin Yi}",
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T1 - Elucidating unique axonal dysfunction between nitrous oxide abuse and Vitamin B12 deficiency

AU - Tani, Jowy

AU - Weng, Hsing Yu

AU - Chen, Hung Ju

AU - Chang, Tsui San

AU - Sung, Jia Ying

AU - Lin, Cindy Shin Yi

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Introduction: Abuse of nitrous oxide (N2O) has an unusually high lifetime prevalence in developed countries and represents a serious concern worldwide. Myeloneuropathy following the inhalant abuse is commonly attributed to the disturbance of vitamin B12 metabolism, with severe motor deficits are often noted. The present study aims to elucidate its underlying pathophysiology. Methods: Eighteen patients with N2O abuse or vitamin B12 deficiency were recruited. Comprehensive central and peripheral neuro-diagnostic tests were performed, including whole spine MRI, and thermal quantitative sensory testing (QST). Specifically, paired motor and sensory nerve excitability tests were performed in order to obtain a complete picture of the sensorimotor axonal damage. Results: The mean duration of N2O exposure for the N2O abuse patients was 17.13 ± 7.23 months. MRI revealed T2 hyperintensity in 87.5% of the N2O abuse patients and 50% of the vitamin B12 deficiency patients. In N2O abuse patients, the motor nerve excitability test showed decreased in peak response (7.08 ± 0.87 mV, P = 0.05), increased latency (7.09 ± 0.28 ms, P < 0.01), increased superexcitability (−32.95 ± 1.74%, P < 0.05), and decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (40-60 ms) 56.53 ± 0.70%, P < 0.05]; the sensory test showed only decreased peak response (30.54 ± 5.98 μV, P < 0.05). Meanwhile, motor test in vitamin B12 deficiency patients showed only decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (40-60 ms) 55.72 ± 1.60%, P < 0.01]; the sensory test showed decreased peak response (25.86 ± 3.44 μV, P < 0.05) increased superexcitability (−28.58 ± 3.71%, P < 0.001), increased subexcitability (8.31 ± 1.64%, P < 0.05), and decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (peak) 67.31 ± 3.35%, P < 0.001]. Conclusion: Compared to vitamin B12 deficiency, N2O abuse patients showed prominent motor superexcitability changes and less prominent sensory superexcitability changes, hinting a unique pathological process different from that of vitamin B12 deficiency. N2O abuse might cause axonal dysfunction not only by blocking methionine metabolism but also by toxicity affecting the paranodal region.

AB - Introduction: Abuse of nitrous oxide (N2O) has an unusually high lifetime prevalence in developed countries and represents a serious concern worldwide. Myeloneuropathy following the inhalant abuse is commonly attributed to the disturbance of vitamin B12 metabolism, with severe motor deficits are often noted. The present study aims to elucidate its underlying pathophysiology. Methods: Eighteen patients with N2O abuse or vitamin B12 deficiency were recruited. Comprehensive central and peripheral neuro-diagnostic tests were performed, including whole spine MRI, and thermal quantitative sensory testing (QST). Specifically, paired motor and sensory nerve excitability tests were performed in order to obtain a complete picture of the sensorimotor axonal damage. Results: The mean duration of N2O exposure for the N2O abuse patients was 17.13 ± 7.23 months. MRI revealed T2 hyperintensity in 87.5% of the N2O abuse patients and 50% of the vitamin B12 deficiency patients. In N2O abuse patients, the motor nerve excitability test showed decreased in peak response (7.08 ± 0.87 mV, P = 0.05), increased latency (7.09 ± 0.28 ms, P < 0.01), increased superexcitability (−32.95 ± 1.74%, P < 0.05), and decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (40-60 ms) 56.53 ± 0.70%, P < 0.05]; the sensory test showed only decreased peak response (30.54 ± 5.98 μV, P < 0.05). Meanwhile, motor test in vitamin B12 deficiency patients showed only decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (40-60 ms) 55.72 ± 1.60%, P < 0.01]; the sensory test showed decreased peak response (25.86 ± 3.44 μV, P < 0.05) increased superexcitability (−28.58 ± 3.71%, P < 0.001), increased subexcitability (8.31 ± 1.64%, P < 0.05), and decreased accommodation to depolarizing current [TEd (peak) 67.31 ± 3.35%, P < 0.001]. Conclusion: Compared to vitamin B12 deficiency, N2O abuse patients showed prominent motor superexcitability changes and less prominent sensory superexcitability changes, hinting a unique pathological process different from that of vitamin B12 deficiency. N2O abuse might cause axonal dysfunction not only by blocking methionine metabolism but also by toxicity affecting the paranodal region.

KW - Inhalant

KW - Myeloneuropathy

KW - Nerve excitability test

KW - Nitrous oxide

KW - Vitamin B12

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