Can vitamin D protect against Parkinson disease?

September 1, 2010

Serum vitamin D levels appear to correlate with risk of Parkinson disease, according to results of a study in Finland.

Serum vitamin D levels appear to correlate with risk of Parkinson disease, according to the results of a cohort study from Finland involving people aged 50 to 79 years.

Researchers used the Mini-Finland Health Survey, conducted from 1978 to 1980, to identify a cohort of more than 3,000 men and women free of Parkinson disease at baseline.

Blood samples were taken at the beginning of the study and frozen. The study team then followed Parkinson disease occurrence through the end of 2007. During the 29-year follow-up period, 50 incident cases of Parkinson disease occurred.

Although researchers acknowledged that high vitamin D levels appear to confer chemoprotection against Parkinson disease, additional research is needed to confirm the association.

Knekt P, Kilkkinen A, Rissanen H, Marniemi J, Sääksjärvi K, Heliövaara M. Serum vitamin D and the risk of Parkinson disease. Arch Neurol. 2010;67(7):808-811.