Vitamin D and neurocognitive disorder due to Alzheimer's disease: A review of the literature

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

According to the Alzheimer's Disease 2014 Facts and Figures report,1 an estimated 5 million older Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only 1 among the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed. Predictably, AD puts an enormous cost burden on the U.S. health care system, with costs expected to soar to $1.2 trillion in 2050. Many individuals with minor cognitive impairment do not seek treatment and/or delay treatment until perceptible deficits indicative of moderate stage of disease are present. Several new drugs for AD are under development based on etiological disease theories, but their long-term impact on cognition and/or function is unclear. One potential treatment is to address low serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25[OH]D).

METHODS:

We performed a literature review on the topic of low vitamin D levels and cognition in geriatric patients.

RESULTS:

Recent studies have associated low vitamin D levels with cognitive complaints, impairment, and AD in geriatric patients; however, there is a dearth of prospective studies on the topic.

CONCLUSIONS:

Available data suggest that more research is needed to promote a better understanding of vitamin D levels and incident AD.

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