The beneficial role of vitamin D in Alzheimer's disease.

Vietnamese American Medical Research Foundation, Westminster, CA 92683, USA.
American Journal of Alzheimer s Disease and Other Dementias (Impact Factor: 1.52). 11/2011; 26(7):511-20. DOI: 10.1177/1533317511429321
Source: PubMed

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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