March 21, 2011

Parkinson’s Patients Lack Vitamin D

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- New research shows patients with a recent onset of Parkinson's disease have a high rate of vitamin D insufficiency. However, this new study shows vitamin D concentrations do not appear to decline during the progression of the neurological disease.

Vitamin D insufficiency has been linked to a variety of disorders and chronic diseases included multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and cancer. Previous studies have shown insufficient amounts of vitamin D are more common in patients with Parkinson's, but it was not clear whether the chronic disease contributed to the higher prevalence.

Researchers examined vitamin D insufficiency in patients with early Parkinson's disease who were untreated. They found a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency in 157 study participants who had early Parkinson's. Nearly 70 percent of the study participants had vitamin D insufficiency, and more than 25 percent had vitamin D deficiency.

"Contrary to our expectation that vitamin D levels might decrease over time because of disease-related inactivity and reduced sun exposure, vitamin D levels increased over the study period," the authors write. "These findings are consistent with the possibility that long-term insufficiency is present before the clinical manifestations of PD (Parkinson's disease) and may play a role in the pathogenesis of PD."

SOURCE: Archives of Neurology, March 14, 2011