The beneficial role of vitamin D in Alzheimer's disease.
ABSTRACT Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly individuals and is associated with progressive neurodegeneration of the human neocortex. Patients with AD have a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, which is also associated with low mood and impaired cognitive performance in older people. Genetic studies have provided the opportunity to determine which proteins link vitamin D to AD pathology (ie, the major histocompatibility complex class II molecules, vitamin D receptor, renin-angiotensin system, apolipoprotein E, liver X receptor, Sp1 promoter gene, and the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 gene). Vitamin D also exerts its effect on AD through nongenomic factors, that is, L-type voltage-sensitive calcium channels, nerve growth factor, the prostaglandins, cyclooxygenase 2, reactive oxygen species, and nitric oxide synthase. In conclusion, vitamin D clearly has a beneficial role in AD and improves cognitive function in some patients with AD. Calcitriol, 1 α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, is best used for AD because of its active form of vitamin D(3) metabolite and its receptor in the central nervous system.
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ABSTRACT: The role of neurotrophic factors has been highlighted as a cause of decline in the cognitive function of alcohol-dependent patients. It is known that nerve-growth factor (NGF), one of the neurotrophins, is related to the growth and differentiation of nerve cells, as well as to a decline in cognitive function. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between decreased NGF levels and cognitive decline in alcohol-dependent patients. The serum concentration of NGF was measured in 38 patients with chronic alcohol dependence, and several neuropsychological tests were also performed for cognitive function assessment. The results indicated a significant correlation between serum NGF level and the trail-making test part B, which evaluates executive function, but did not show a significant correlation with other cognitive function tests. An increased serum level of NGF was associated with a decreased completion time in the trail-making test B, and this finding indicates that a high serum level of NGF is related to greater executive function. This finding may imply a protective role of NGF in preventing neuron damage among patients with alcohol dependence. Larger controlled studies will be necessary in the future to investigate this issue further.Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2014; 10:2153-2157. · 2.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A search for a hormonal fountain of youth has been hotly pursued over the last century, predominately by those who wish to market hormones to a gullible public. There is little or no benefit of hormone replacement in persons who do not have a hormone deficiency. Overall, the present state of the art suggests that the findings have been disappointing. In persons who fail to get adequate sunlight, and therefore have low vitamin D levels, vitamin D replacement appears to have positive effects, including decreasing mortality. Testosterone in hypogonadal males has a number of positive effects such as improving libido and erectile capacity, increasing strength and bone mineral density, and perhaps having a small effect on cognition. These effects need to be balanced against long-term side effects, the evidence for which studies are lacking. There is little evidence to recommend DHEA, pregnenolone, growth hormone, ghrelin, or melatonin to older persons. Overall, exercise, adequate exposure to sunlight, and adequate dietary protein appear to have at least as positive an effect as any of the hormones being used to rejuvenate older persons.Fertility and sterility 06/2013; 99(7):1807-1813. · 4.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Little is known of vitamin D concentration in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in Alzheimer´s disease (AD) and its relation with CSF acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, a marker of cholinergic function. A cross-sectional study of 52 consecutive patients under primary evaluation of cognitive impairment and 17 healthy controls. The patients had AD dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) diagnosed with AD dementia upon follow-up (n = 28), other dementias (n = 12), and stable MCI (SMCI, n = 12). We determined serum and CSF concentrations of calcium, parathyroid hormone (PTH), 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), and CSF activities of AChE and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE). CSF 25OHD level was reduced in AD patients (P < 0.05), and CSF AChE activity was decreased both in patients with AD (P < 0.05) and other dementias (P < 0.01) compared to healthy controls. None of the measured variables differed between BuChE K-variant genotypes whereas the participants that were homozygous in terms of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele had decreased CSF AChE activity compared to subjects lacking the APOE ε4 allele (P = 0.01). In AD patients (n=28), CSF AChE activity correlated positively with CSF levels of total tau (T-tau) (r = 0.44, P < 0.05) and phosphorylated tau protein (P-tau) (r = 0.50, P < 0.01), but CSF activities of AChE or BuChE did not correlate with serum or CSF levels of 25OHD. In this pilot study, both CSF 25OHD level and CSF AChE activity were reduced in AD patients. However, the lack of correlations between 25OHD levels and CSF activities of AChE or BuChE might suggest different mechanisms of action, which could have implications for treatment trials.PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e81989. · 3.53 Impact Factor