Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Available online 26 November 2015, doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.11.012
K Overeem1, DW Eyles1, 2, JJ McGrath1, 2, THJ Burne1, 2,
•We review studies using rodent models of vitamin D deficiency.
•Prenatal vitamin D deficiency alters brain development.
•Adult vitamin D deficiency alters behaviour.
Vitamin D deficiency has been proposed as an environmental risk factor for several neurological disorders. To investigate the biological plausibility of this risk factor, vitamin D (DVD) deficiency rodent models have been used to examine the impact of DVD deficiency on neurobiology and behaviour. The majority of these studies have taken a developmental stance and examined the impact of vitamin D deficiency during gestation on the adult behaviour of the offspring.
In the rat, the most constant behavioural phenotypes include
- hyperlocomotion in response to novelty,
- psychostimulant sensitively,
- impulsivity, and
- augmented motivation.
However, in the mouse
- increased exploratory behaviour and
- motivational alterations are observed.
Researchers have also examined the affect of adult vitamin D deficiency in rodents.
The resultant behavioural alterations include
- increased exploratory activity and
- impulsivity in the rat,
- increased hyperlocomotion and
- sensory sensitivity is observed in the mouse.
Thus, both the developing and adult brain are sensitive to dietary vitamin D status. However, the behavioural alterations are subtle and influenced by factors such as species, strain, sex, and age. This illustrates the amenability and complexity of neurobiological systems that are influenced by vitamin D status. Nonetheless, with increasing evidence for epidemiological associations between neuropathological disorders and vitamin D, carefully designed rodent models are well placed as a tool to explore the neurobiological and behavioural domains that may be sensitive to vitamin D.
Crown copyright © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- ADHD and Vitamin D Deficiency
- Autism treated by Vitamin D: Dr. Cannell - video June 2013 includes many reasons why he believes Autism is related to Vitamin D
- Both have strong inheritance features – Vitamin D about 60%
- Both have gotten substantially worse in last 30 years
- Vitamin D is known to be involved in brain development
- All autistic children are VitD deficient, but not all children who are deficient are autistic: genes are involved
- When giving vitamin D to cure children of rickets “mental dullness” decreases as well
- Children with genes which give them too much (Williams Syndrome) have to reverse of autism – too sociable
- Mothers having lots of fish (and thus more vitamin D) give birth to kids with less autistic symptoms
- Both associated with weak bones
- Both worse around the age of weaning
- Autism is more common in rich families – more likely to apply sun screen and stay indoors
- Autism increases with drugs which lower levels of vitamin D
- Seizures are common with Autism - Vitamin D has been shown to reduce seizures
- Fewer autistic symptoms (such as sleep problems) during summer: when child gets more vitamin D from the sun
- Both worse with latitude
- Both vary with Ultraviolet light
- Both vary with time of year (more birth of autistics in March in Northern hemisphere)
- 2X more urban autism – less UVB in urban environments
- Both worse with pollution
- Both worse with increased clouds and rain
- Both worse with closely spaced pregnancies
- Autistics have abnormal immune response – similar to that of vitamin D deficiency
- Low levels of vitamin D in mother animals reduces brain function in offspring
- Vitamin deficient rat pups have similar brain abnormalities to that of human autistic children
- Autistic children get less vitamin D in their blood for the same amount of sun exposure
- The 4 males/1 female ratio - Note estrogen increases vitamin D in the brain (testosterone does not)
- Both worse in African Americans (A-A 2-3 increased autism rate)
- Both worse in Dark-skinned immigrants in Europe
- Note: All articles in Autism category
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