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Vitamin D and MS, ALS, Autism, Alzheimer’s and other nervous system diseases – review Aug 2013

Review: The role of vitamin D in nervous system health and disease

Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology. Volume 39, Issue 5, pages 458–484, August 2013
G. C. DeLuca 1,gabriele.deluca@ndcn.ox.ac.uk
S. M. Kimball 3,
J. Kolasinski 1,
S. V. Ramagopalan 2,
G. C. Ebers 1
1 Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (Clinical Neurology), University of Oxford, Oxford
2 Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK
3 Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Vitamin D and its metabolites have pleomorphic roles in both nervous system health and disease. Animal models have been paramount in contributing to our knowledge and understanding of the consequences of vitamin D deficiency on brain development and its implications for adult psychiatric and neurological diseases. The conflation of in vitro, ex vivo, and animal model data provide compelling evidence that vitamin D has a crucial role in proliferation, differentiation, neurotrophism, neuroprotection, neurotransmission, and neuroplasticity. Vitamin D exerts its biological function not only by influencing cellular processes directly, but also by influencing gene expression through vitamin D response elements. This review highlights the epidemiological, neuropathological, experimental and molecular genetic evidence implicating vitamin D as a candidate in influencing susceptibility to a number of psychiatric and neurological diseases.
The strength of evidence varies for

  • schizophrenia,
  • autism,
  • Parkinson's disease,
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,
  • Alzheimer's disease, and
  • is especially strong for multiple sclerosis.

PDF is behind a paywall

See also VitaminDWiki

  1. Both have strong inheritance features – Vitamin D about 60%
  2. Both have gotten substantially worse in last 30 years
  3. Vitamin D is known to be involved in brain development
  4. All autistic children are VitD deficient, but not all children who are deficient are autistic: genes are involved
  5. When giving vitamin D to cure children of rickets “mental dullness” decreases as well
  6. Children with genes which give them too much (Williams Syndrome) have to reverse of autism – too sociable
  7. Mothers having lots of fish (and thus more vitamin D) give birth to kids with less autistic symptoms
  8. Both associated with weak bones
  9. Both worse around the age of weaning
  10. Autism is more common in rich families – more likely to apply sun screen and stay indoors
  11. Autism increases with drugs which lower levels of vitamin D
  12. Seizures are common with Autism - Vitamin D has been shown to reduce seizures
  13. Fewer autistic symptoms (such as sleep problems) during summer: when child gets more vitamin D from the sun
  14. Both worse with latitude
  15. Both vary with Ultraviolet light
  16. Both vary with time of year (more birth of autistics in March in Northern hemisphere)
  17. 2X more urban autism – less UVB in urban environments
  18. Both worse with pollution
  19. Both worse with increased clouds and rain
  20. Both worse with closely spaced pregnancies
  21. Autistics have abnormal immune response – similar to that of vitamin D deficiency
  22. Low levels of vitamin D in mother animals reduces brain function in offspring
  23. Vitamin deficient rat pups have similar brain abnormalities to that of human autistic children
  24. Autistic children get less vitamin D in their blood for the same amount of sun exposure
  25. The 4 males/1 female ratio - Note estrogen increases vitamin D in the brain (testosterone does not)
  26. Both worse in African Americans (A-A 2-3 increased autism rate)
  27. Both worse in Dark-skinned immigrants in Europe
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