Cognitive Impairment 4X more likely if low vitamin D (less than 20 ng) – Feb 2014

Vitamin D in Relation to Cognitive Impairment, Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers, and Brain Volumes

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci (2014) doi: 10.1093/gerona/glu022
Babak Hooshmand 1,2, Johan Lökk 3,4, Alina Solomon 1,2,5, Francesca Mangialasche 1,6, Julia Miralbell 7, Gabriela Spulber 3, Sylvia Annerbo 3, Niels Andreasen 2,4, Bengt Winblad1,2,4, Angel Cedazo-Minguez2, Lars-Olof Wahlund3 and Miia Kivipelto1,2,4,5
1 Aging Research Center,
2 KI-Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and
3 Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
4 Department of Geriatric Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden.
5 Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio.
6 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics, University of Perugia, Italy.
7 Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, Spain.
Address correspondence to Babak Hooshmand, MD, PhD, MPH, Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet, Gävlegatan 16–9th Floor, 11330 Stockholm, Sweden. Email:
Received April 27, 2013, Accepted January 20, 2014.

Background. Low vitamin D status is associated with poorer cognitive function in older adults, but little is known about the potential impact on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers and brain volumes. The objective of this study was to examine the relations between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and cognitive impairment, CSF biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and structural brain tissue volumes.

Methods. A total of 75 patients (29 with subjective cognitive impairment, 28 with mild cognitive impairment, 18 with AD) referred to the Memory Clinic at Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden were recruited. Plasma 25(OH)D, CSF levels of amyloid β (Aβ1–42), total-tau, and phosphorylated tau, and brain tissue volumes have been measured.

Results. After adjustment for several potential confounders, the odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for cognitive impairment were as follows:

  • 0.969 (0.948–0.990) per increase of 1 nmol/L of 25(OH)D and
  • 4.19 (1.30–13.52) for 24(OH)D values less than 50 nmol/L compared with values greater than or equal to 50 nmol/L.

Adjusting for CSF Aβ1–42 attenuated the 25(OH)D-cognition link. In a multiple linear regression analysis, higher 25(OH)D levels were related to higher concentrations of CSF Aβ1–42 and greater brain volumes (eg, white matter, structures belonging to medial temporal lobe). The associations between 25(OH)D and tau variables were not significant.

Conclusions. This study suggests that vitamin D may be associated with cognitive status, CSF Aβ1–42 levels, and brain tissue volumes.

Note: CSF Aβ1–42 are cerebrospinal fluid markers for Alzheimer’s disease

See also VitaminDWiki

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