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Low D Linked to Poor Cognitive Function, Increased Alzheimer's Risk

HAMILTON, Ontario—Low concentrations of vitamin D are associated with decreased cognitive function and increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a review of relevant studies. The results were published in the Sept. 25 issue of Neurology (2012;79(13):1397-1405).

Academic researchers from McMasters University, Hamilton, University of Waterloo, Kitchener, and University of Exeter, Devon, England, culled studies from five databases, including all those with a comparative group. In the included trials, vitamin D levels were measured, cognitive function was assessed by using global or domain-specific tests, and dementia was diagnosed according to "recognized criteria."

Of the 37 studies included, eight compared the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores of subjects with less than 50 nmol/L vitamin D and those with greater than 50 nmol/L, finding a positive effect for those with  higher levels. Six other studies compared Alzheimer's disease to controls; despite discarding two trials for outdated methods, the remaining trials showed low vitamin D concentration were significantly lower in the Alzheimer's group.


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