eISSN: 2084-9885
ISSN: 1896-6764
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia/Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology
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vol. 7

Review paper
The role of vitamin D in disorders of the central nervous system

Jan K. Nowak

Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia 2012; 7, 2: 85–96
Online publish date: 2012/10/06
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Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids, of which calcitriol is the most biologically active component. Research conducted in the last decade has indicated a role for vitamin D in pathogenesis of disorders of the central nervous system. The evidence for the role of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke, epilepsy, autism, schizophrenia and depression is discussed. This evidence is mainly based on studies that searched for an association between vitamin D blood levels or vitamin D intake and the incidence or the course of disease. Conclusions from clinical research on the value of vitamin D supplementation support the hypothesis of vitamin D involvement in multiple sclerosis. Data indicating a role of prenatal vitamin D deficiency in pathogenesis of schizophrenia and autism are referred to. The results obtained in animal models of vitamin D deficiency and molecular research on effects of vitamin D in pathogenesis of the aforementioned diseases are presented. They show that calcitriol is a neurosteroid that influences central nervous system development and regulates the activity of the immune system. Up-to-date information on vitamin D supplementation is included. The need for use of higher doses of calcitriol and the safety of doses of calcitriol up to 10 000 IU daily are highlighted.

vitamin D, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, autism

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