The results of a new study found that higher levels of vitamin D were associated with improved cognition and mood in patients with PD.
The study, published in the December 2013 issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease
, examined neuropsychiatric function and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in 286 PD patients with and without dementia. The researchers measured global cognitive function, verbal memory, fluency, function, executive function, disease severity, and depression for each patient, comparing these scores with each patient’s vitamin D level.
The results indicated that higher vitamin D levels were associated with better performance on many neuropsychiatric tests in patients without dementia. Significant relationships were found between vitamin D levels and verbal fluency and verbal memory. Higher vitamin D levels tended to decrease the risk of depression in patients without dementia.
Although the results of the study suggest a relationship between vitamin D levels and improved mood and cognitive function in patients with PD, they do not prove causation, the authors of the study note. Patients with more advanced forms of the disease may get less sun exposure due to their limited mobility, causing the lower levels of vitamin D.