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The Role of Vitamin D in Disease Progression in Early Parkinson’s Disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Isobel Sleeman, Dr Terry AsprayORCiD, Dr Rachael LawsonORCiD, Professor David Burn, Professor Alison Yarnall



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background: Previous cross-sectional studies have shown that Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients have lower serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations than controls. Vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased disease severity and cognitive impairment in prevalent PD patients. Objective: The aim of the study was to determine 25(OH)D in newly diagnosed PD and age-matched controls and to assess if there was an association with clinical outcomes (disease severity, cognition and falls) over the 36-month follow up period. Methods: A prospective observational study of newly diagnosed PD patients in the North East of England with age-matched controls (PD, n=145; control, n=94). Serum 25(OH)D was assessed at baseline and 18 months. Participants underwent clinical assessment at baseline, 18 and 36 months. One hundred and ten participants with PD also took part in a prospective falls study.Results: Mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations were lower in PD than control participants at baseline (44.1 ± 21.7 vs. 52.2 ± 22.1 nmol/L, p<0.05) and 18 months (44.2 ± 23.6 vs. 55.7 ± 28.8 nmol/L, p<0.05). Baseline serum 25(OH)D concentration, age, motor score and dosage of dopaminergic medication were significant predictors of variance of motor severity at 36 months ((∆R2=0.039, F=6.6, p<0.01). Serum 25(OH)D was not associated with cognition or falls during the follow up period. Conclusion: Patients with incident PD had significantly lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations than age-matched controls, which may have implications in terms of bone health and fracture risk. There was a small but significant association between vitamin D status at baseline and disease motor severity at 36 months.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sleeman I, Aspray T, Lawson RA, Coleman S, Duncan GW, Khoo TK, Schoenmakers I, Barker R, Rochester R, Burn DJ, Yarnall AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Parkinson's Disease

Year: 2017

Volume: 7

Issue: 4

Pages: 669-675

Print publication date: 01/11/2017

Online publication date: 04/10/2017

Acceptance date: 11/09/2017

Date deposited: 20/09/2017

ISSN (print): 1877-7171

ISSN (electronic): 1877-718X

Publisher: IOS Press


DOI: 10.3233/JPD-171122

Notes: balance, cognition, disease progression, fall, 25-hydroxy vitamin D, Parkinson’s disease, vitamin D


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Funder referenceFunder name
J-0802Parkinson`s UK (formerly Parkinson`s Disease Society)