Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

Low vitamin D levels linked to non-motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease

Wiley

vitamin D

In this observational study, 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.

FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:

This study showed that Vitamin D levels were lower in patients with Parkinson's disease than in matched controls, and that lower Vitamin D levels were associated with more falls, sleep problems and symptoms of anxiety and depression in these patients - but not with lower bone density.

The observational nature of this study means it cannot address issues of cause and effect, but these findings provide a rationale for trials of supplementation with Vitamin D to find out if this may help.

Some studies have already suggested that Vitamin D may help reduce depressive symptoms, although evidence in this area remains mixed and inconclusive, so more research is still needed.

Meanwhile, as Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency is widespread, supplementation to avoid this is now recommended even in the general population - particularly for high risk groups, which would include most people with Parkinson's disease. 
 
For details of this research, see:


For more information on Vitamin D and depression, see:

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, Ph.D., of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, in China.