August 15, 2019
By Reuters Staff
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Parkinson's disease (PD) patients have lower levels of vitamin D than their healthy peers, a new study confirms.
Vitamin D levels were also associated with several non-motor symptoms in PD patients, Dr. Jing Chen of The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University in Suzhou, China, and colleagues found.
"Together, these results indicate that vitamin D deficiency may play a role in PD pathogenesis, while vitamin D supplementation may be used to treat the non-motor symptoms of PD," they suggest in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, online August 6.
Vitamin D deficiency occurs frequently in PD patients, the authors note. Studies of the relationship between PD and vitamin D levels have had conflicting results, they add, and have not focused on non-motor symptoms.
They looked at vitamin D levels in 182 consecutive PD patients and 185 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. Mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels were 49.75 nmol/L in control patients and 43.40 nmol/L in PD patients (P<0.001).
PD patients were significantly more likely to have low vitamin D (less than 50 nmol/L) than healthy controls (68.7% vs. 54.1%).
Falls and insomnia occurred more frequently in the PD patients with the lowest serum 25(OH)D levels, who also had worse Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores and higher levels of depression and anxiety.
PD patients' mean bone-mineral density was also significantly lower at the lumbar spine and the femoral neck compared to healthy controls.
"Overall, these data support further study of vitamin D supplementation for its possible benefits on both the clinical symptoms and quality of life of patients with PD," Dr. Chen and colleagues conclude.
The study had no commercial funding, and the authors report no conflicts of interest.
Dr. Chen was not available for an interview by press time.
Acta Neurol Scand 2019.
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