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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Brain Briefs: Vitamin D and Dementia, MS and Gut Bugs

Action Points
A new study confirms that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer's disease, although it could not determine whether low vitamin D actually caused or was a marker for dementias.

Another study found that alterations in cytokine regulation triggered by commensal micro-organisms in the human intestine may play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis.

Published: Aug 8, 2014

Recent studies linked vitamin D deficiency with dementia risk and multiple sclerosis with altered intestinal flora, and a prostaglandin receptor may be a viable drug target in ALS.

Vitamin D and Dementia Risk

A number of past studies have found that low levels of vitamin D in circulation are associated with increased likelihood of cognitive impairment and dementia. Now comes another in this vein, this time in a prospectively followed cohort, although with many of the same limitations that applied to the previous cross-sectional analyses.

In the current study, reported online in Neurology, David J. Llewellyn, PhD, of the University of Exeter in England, and colleagues examined long-term outcomes in 1,658 elderly individuals participating in the Cardiovascular Health Study during the 1990s.

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