Working on the Presentation
I couldn’t put it off any more, and so this morning I started work on my presentation at the International B12 Conference that takes place at the University of Aarhus in Denmark next month.
I have been asked to give a 20-minute presentation on how the problems with diagnosing and treating B12 Deficiency in general and Pernicious Anaemia in particular is impacting on the lives of patients. I notice that I’ve been allocated 25 minutes to take questions. I need to get my story straight and have my facts ready.
I’ve been sent details of the programme and it looks like this is going to be a very interesting gathering that will address and lead to discussions on many of the issues that we, as patients, face.
Take a look at some of the presentations:
First up is the whole issue of determining what constitutes a B12 Deficiency – ‘Black holes in the universe of vitamin B12’
Then the question of whether measuring the patient’s homocysteine levels are a better indication of the B12 status of the patient; ‘Homocysteine determination today – is it still relevant?’
And let’s not forget the genetic link – ‘Surprises from the study of patients with inherited disorders of cobalamin metabolism’ ; It’s going to be interesting to discover what these ‘surprises’ are.
What about using more than one test to determine the B12 status of patients – ‘Combined indicator of B12 deficiency (cB12). Optimized sequential application of individual biomarkers and their combinations’
Then there’s the issue of pregnant patients – ‘B vitamin status in non-pregnant, pregnant and lactating mothers and their infants’
Should we be screening new-born babies (of course we should) – ‘Utility of new-born screening markers to diagnose new-borns at risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency second to maternal vitamin B-12 deficiency’
And let’s not forget the debate about class being an issue in B12 Deficiency – ‘New perspectives on vitamin B-12 deficiency in low income populations: assessment and prevalence’.
And we know that Pernicious Anaemia leads to changes in personality and can often mean the patient displays odd behaviour and changes to his or her personality – ‘Behavioral alterations associated with vitamin B12 deficiency in the TCblR/CD320 KO mouse’.
There’s even a presentation on the old classic debate about whether Cyanocobalamin or Hydroxocobalamin is best to treat Pernicious Anaemia – ‘Cyano-B12 versus hydroxo-B12: New insights on transport and accumulation’.
The above is only a small selection of the 68 papers that will be presented over the four days.
People who believe that nobody is interested in the problems with patients being diagnosed and treated for Pernicious Anaemia are wrong. There is an awful lot of research going on around the world of B12 and I’m honoured and excited to be given the opportunity to give the patients’ perspective and to make the researchers not only aware of how late diagnosis and insufficient treatment is impacting on the lives of patients but also to make them aware of how we, as a society, can help them in their research programmes.
Guess when I’m on? Well, I’m the last speaker – number 68.
I’d better get on with working on the presentation – I don’t want to let you all down.