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Parkinson's linked with vitamin D deficiency

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Patients with Parkinson’s disease are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency than healthy adults of the same age, according to a study.

Findings were based on research comparing vitamin D levels of 100 patients with Parkinson’s disease to vitamin D levels in 97 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 99 healthy older people.

Results showed 55% of people in the Parkinson’s group had insufficient vitamin D, compared with 41% of the Alzheimer’s group and 36% of the control group.

The average vitamin D concentration in the Parkinson’s group was considerably lower than the Alzheimer’s and control groups – 31.9 nanograms/ml compared with 34.4 nanograms/ml and 37 nanograms/ml respectively.

‘These findings support the previously suggested need for further studies to assess what contribution a low 25(OH)D [a measure of blood vitamin D levels] concentration adds to the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (vs. other neurodegenerative disorders) and to determine whether correction of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency will improve motor or non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease,’ the authors conclude.

Archives of Neurology (2008) 65:1348-1352

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