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Vitamin D Deficiency Associated with Dementia and Parkinson Disease
Two studies seem to point to vitamin D deficiency as having a role in both cognitive decline and Parkinson disease, but commentators aren't certain about the clinical implications.
One study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, followed some 850 older adults for about 6 years. Low serum levels of vitamin D at the outset of the study were associated with substantial cognitive decline (as measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination) by study's end. Editorialists caution that "low vitamin D levels may simply be a marker for lower health status than a cause of it." They write that "a rigorous evidence base ... does not currently exist" to favor using vitamin D supplementation to improve health outcomes.
The other study, published in the Archives of Neurology, found an association between low levels of vitamin D and the development of Parkinson disease by follow-up some 30 years later. An editorialist finds the results promising but preliminary.
Archives of Internal Medicine article (Free abstract)
Archives of Internal Medicine editorial (Subscription required)
Archives of Neurology article (Free abstract)
Archives of Neurology editorial (Subscription required)
Published in Physician's First Watch July 13, 2010
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