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Schizophrenia and smaller hippocampus both associated with low vitamin D – June 2015

Serum vitamin D and hippocampal gray matter volume in schizophrenia

Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.06.006
Venkataram Shivakumara, b, c, Sunil V. Kalmadya, b, Amaresha C. Anekala, b, Dania Josea, b, Janardhanan C. Narayanaswamya, b, Sri Mahavir Agarwala, b, Boban Josepha, b, Ganesan Venkatasubramaniana, b, Vasanthapuram Ravid, Matcheri S. Keshavane, Bangalore N. Gangadhara
a Schizophrenia Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bangalore, India
b Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, NIMHANS, Bangalore, India
c Department of Clinical Neurosciences, NIMHANS, Bangalore, India
d Department of Neurovirology, NIMHANS, Bangalore, India
e Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Highlights
•Vitamin D deficiency might be one of the contributing factors in schizophrenia pathogenesis.
•Hippocampal abnormalities are established in schizophrenia.
•Hippocampus expresses high levels of vitamin D receptors.
•Serum vitamin D level correlated positively with hippocampus volume in schizophrenia patients.
Disparate lines of evidence including epidemiological and case-control studies have increasingly implicated vitamin D in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to dysfunction of the hippocampus – a brain region hypothesized to be critically involved in schizophrenia. In this study, we examined for potential association between serum vitamin D level and hippocampal gray matter volume in antipsychotic-naïve or antipsychotic-free schizophrenia patients (n=35). Serum vitamin D level was estimated using 25-OH vitamin D immunoassay. Optimized voxel-based morphometry was used to analyse 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (1-mm slice thickness).
Ninety-seven percent of the schizophrenia patients (n=34) had sub-optimal levels of serum vitamin D (83%, deficiency; 14%, insufficiency). A significant positive correlation was seen between vitamin D and regional gray matter volume in the right hippocampus after controlling for age, years of education and total intracranial volume (Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) coordinates: x=35, y=−18, z=−8; t=4.34 pFWE-Corrected=0.018). These observations support a potential role of vitamin D deficiency in mediating hippocampal volume deficits, possibly through neurotrophic, neuroimmunomodulatory and glutamatergic effects.

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See also VitaminDWiki

Many reasons to think that schizophrenia is associated with low vitamin D
1) 97% of patients with schizophrenia are vitamin D deficient
2) Schizophrenia varies with latitude (UVB) by 10X (controversy)
3) Schizophrenia is more common in those with dark skin (when away from the equator)
4) Schizophrenia is associated with low natal vitamin D
5) Schizophrenia has been increasing around the world when vitamin D has been decreasing (controversy)
6) Schizophrenia is associated with low birth rate, which is associated with low vitamin D
7) Schizophrenia is associated with Autism which is associated with low vitamin D
8) Schizophrenia Bulletin Editorial (Jan 2014) speculated that Vitamin D could be a major player
9) Schizophrenia 2X more likely if low vitamin D - meta-analysis
10) Schizophrenia increased 40 % for Spring births after Danes stopped vitamin D fortification
11) Schizophrenia is associated with season of birth
12) Schizophrenia is associated with poor Vitamin D Receptor genes
13) Schizophrenia risk is decreased if give Vitamin D after birth
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Omega-3 may treat schizophrenia wonder if Omega-3 and Vitamin D would be additive or even synergistic

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