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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A survey of the current clinical practice of psychiatrists and accident and emergency specialists in the United Kingdom concerning vitamin supplementation for chronic alcohol misusers.

Although it is well known that B-vitamin deficiencies directly affecting the brain are common in alcohol misuse, no concise guidelines on the use of vitamin supplements in alcohol misusers currently exist in the UK. The purpose of this study was to assess current practice and opinion among UK physicians. Questionnaires were completed by a total of 427 physicians comprising Accident and Emergency (A&E) specialists and psychiatrists, with a response rate of 25%. The main findings were that vitamin deficiency was perceived as being uncommon amongst alcohol misusers (<25%) and there was no consensus as to which B vitamins are beneficial in treatment or the best method of administration of B-vitamin supplementation. The majority of psychiatrists favoured oral administration for prophylaxis against the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome in chronic alcohol misusers and parenteral therapy in patients with signs of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Whilst only just over half the A&E specialists expressed a preference, most favoured parenteral therapy in both cases. Most respondents did not currently have a unit policy/protocol on the management of vitamin supplementation in chronic alcohol misusers. Overall, the findings suggest that there is wide variation in current practice and highlight the need for guidelines in this area.[1]


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