Evidence for the Importance of Vitamin D Status in Neurologic Conditions

Anusha K. Yeshokumar, Deanna Saylor, Michael D. Kornberg, Ellen M. Mowry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Vitamin D status has been proposed as relevant to many neurological disorders. Data suggest that vitamin D may be important for the development of the nervous system, and it also plays a role in neuroimmunology and neuroprotection. Lower levels of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D have been linked with increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). While people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and stroke have lower vitamin D levels than those without the diseases, it is unclear if this is because hypovitaminosis D contributes to disease risk or is a consequence of immobility and other factors caused by the disease. Lower levels of vitamin D have been associated with worse prognosis in MS, PD, ALS, and stroke, while no longitudinal studies have been performed to evaluate such an association in AD. Small pilot trials have been performed to evaluate vitamin D supplementation for some of these diseases, but there have been no phase III studies to support vitamin D supplementation in these patient populations; further, ideal levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are not known. Thus, while some expert panels or individuals have suggested routine testing and supplementation for patients with these neurological conditions, it is our opinion that there are currently insufficient data to support high-dose vitamin D supplementation to specifically treat or prevent these conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number51
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Central nervous system
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Vitamin D


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