Visual and somatosensory evoked potentials in vitamin E deficiency with cystic fibrosis

Peter W. Kaplan, Kapil Rawal, Charles W. Erwin, Bernard J. D'Souza, Alexander Spock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and pancreatic malabsorption frequently have vitamin E deficiency. Affected patients may develop spinocerebellar degeneration with dysarthria, ataxia, proximal weakness, proprioceptive loss and areflexia. Of a highly selected group of 10 patients with vitamin E levels below 5 gmg/ml (normal 5-20 μg/ml), 7 had abnormal neurological examinations, predominantly affecting vibration and joint position perception with some severely affected patients manifesting diminished visual acuity, tremor, ataxia and diffuse weakness. Evoked potential studies showed marked abnormalities in 3 patients, demonstrating deficits in the optic pathways and in the cervical cord dorsal column pathways. Evoked potential studies may supplement careful neurological examination in patients with CF before and after supplementation with vitamin E to evaluate their progression and response to treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-272
Number of pages7
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology/ Evoked Potentials
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Evoked potentials
  • Spinocerebellar syndrome
  • Vitamin E deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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