Amsterdam, NL, 16 January 2014 A new study exploring vitamin D levels in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) opens up the possibility of a new avenue of early intervention that may delay or prevent the onset of cognitive impairment and depression. The findings are published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease.
Investigators conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 286 patients with PD and found that higher plasma vitamin D levels were associated with lower symptom severity, better cognition, and less depression in the entire group, but the relationships were even stronger in those who were not demented.
"About 30% of persons with PD suffer from cognitive impairment and dementia, and dementia is associated with nursing home placement and shortened life expectancy," says Amie L. Peterson, MD, of the Oregon Health and Sciences University. "We know mild cognitive impairment may predict the future development of dementia. Intervening in the development of dementia has the potential to improve morbidity and mortality in persons with PD."
In this analysis, which was an add-on study to an ongoing longitudinal study of neuropsychiatric function in people with PD, patients were given a battery of tests measuring global cognitive function, verbal memory, semantic verbal fluency, executive function, and depression. On the same day, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were measured. Of the 286 subjects, 61 were considered to be demented by a consensus panel based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (4th edition) and 225 were not demented.
For the entire group, significant negative associations were found between vitamin D levels and disease severity, as measured both by the Hoehn and Yahr Scale and the United Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor section. Mean vitamin D3 levels were higher in those who were not demented, although the differences did not reach statistical signific
|Contact: Daphne Watrin|