Summary: Vitamin D supplementation may help reduce some of the non-motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
In an Acta Neurologica Scandinavia study of 182 patients with Parkinson’s disease and 185 healthy controls, patients with Parkinson’s disease had significantly lower levels of vitamin D in their blood. Also, patients with lower vitamin D levels were more likely to fall, and to experience sleep problems, depression, and anxiety.
The findings suggest that vitamin D supplementation may help to treat non-motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
“As various non-motor symptoms place a burden on individuals with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers, vitamin D might be a potential add-on therapy for improving these neglected symptoms,” said senior author Chun Feng Liu, MD, PhD, of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, in China.
About this neuroscience research article
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Objectives Vitamin D deficiency is widespread in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Our aim was to determine whether serum vitamin D levels correlated with bone mineral density (BMD) and non‐motor symptoms in patients with PD.
Materials & Methods A consecutive series of 182 patients with PD and 185 healthy controls were included. Serum 25‐hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels were measured by immunoassay, while BMD of the lumbar spine and femoral neck was measured by dual‐energy X‐ray absorptiometry. Associations between serum vitamin D levels and clinical data were evaluated using partial correlation analysis.
Results Patients with PD had significantly lower serum 25(OH)D levels relative to healthy controls (49.75 ± 14.11 vs 43.40 ± 16.51, P < 0.001). Furthermore, PD patients with lower vitamin D levels had a significantly higher frequency of falls (P = 0.033) and insomnia (P = 0.015). They also had significantly higher scores for the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI; P = 0.014), depression (P = 0.020), and anxiety (P = 0.009). Finally, patients with PD also had a significantly lower mean BMD of the lumbar spine (P = 0.011) and femoral neck (P < 0.001). After adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index, vitamin D levels significantly correlated with falls, insomnia, and scores for the PSQI, depression, and anxiety.
Conclusions In patients with PD, vitamin D levels significantly correlated with falls and some non‐motor symptoms. However, no associations were found between BMD and the serum 25(OH)D levels in patients with PD. Thus, vitamin D supplementation is a potential therapeutic for non‐motor PD symptoms.