Potential link between vitamin D deficiency & loss of brain plasticity

  • A mouse study suggests that vitamin D deficiency impairs cognition through its effect on neuronal connections in the hippocampus.

A mouse study helps explain why vitamin D is so important for cognition. After 20 weeks of no vitamin D, the healthy adult mice showed a significant decline in their ability to remember and learn. They also showed a pronounced reduction in perineuronal nets in the hippocampus. These nets provide a supportive scaffold around certain neurons, stabilising their connections with other neurons. There was also a substantial reduction in both the number and strength of connections between neurons.

It’s suggested that vitamin D helps keep perineuronal nets stable, and that when vitamin D levels drop, they’re more easily degraded by enzymes. The hippocampus may be most vulnerable, and thus affected first. It also seems that the right hippocampus is more affected than the left.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-02/uoq-plb021919.php

Reference: 

Mayne, P. E., & Burne, T. H. J. (2019). Vitamin D in Synaptic Plasticity, Cognitive Function, and Neuropsychiatric Illness. Trends in Neurosciences, 42(4), 293–306. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2019.01.003

Related News

A study involving 382 older adults (average age 75) followed for around five years, has found that those who don’t get enough vitamin D may experience cognitive decline at a much faster rate than people who have adequate vitamin D.

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative has found that calcium and vitamin D supplements after menopause can improve women's cholesterol profiles, with much of that effect tied to raising vitamin D levels.

The study involved 104 healthy older adults (average age 87) participating in the Oregon Brain Aging Study.

Another study has come out showing that older adults with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have cognitive problems. The six-year study followed 858 adults who were age 65 or older at the beginning of the study.

A study of over 3,100 older men (49-71) from across Europe has found that men with higher levels of vitamin D performed consistently better in an attention and speed of processing task. There was no difference on visual memory tasks.

A review described as “definitive” has concluded that there is ample biological evidence to suggest an important role for vitamin D in brain development and function, and that supplementation for groups chronically low in vitamin D is warranted.

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health newsSubscribe to Latest news