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Higher Serum Vitamin D3 Levels Are Associated with Better Cognitive Test Performance in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease

Oudshoorn C.a · Mattace-Raso F.U.S.a · van der Velde N.a · Colin E.M.b · van der Cammen T.J.M.a
aDepartment of Internal Medicine, Section of Geriatric Medicine, and bDepartment of Rheumatology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2008;25:539–543 (DOI:10.1159/000134382)


Background/Aims: Recent studies suggest that vitamin D metabolites may be important for preserving cognitive function via specific neuroprotective effects. No large studies have examined the association between vitamin D status and cognition. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we analyzed the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) test scores of 225 older outpatients who were diagnosed as having probable Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In addition to the 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels, we analyzed the serum vitamin B1, B6 and B12 levels. Results: An association was found between MMSE test scores and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels, with a β-coefficient of 0.05 (p = 0.01). Vitamin-D-sufficient patients had significantly higher MMSE scores as compared to vitamin-D-insufficient ones. No association was found with the other serum vitamin levels. Conclusions: These data support the idea that a relationship exists between vitamin D status and cognition in patients with probable AD. However, given the cross-sectional design of this study, no causality can be concluded. Further prospective studies are needed to specify the contribution of vitamin D status to the onset and course of cognitive decline and AD.


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