According to a new study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting earlier this month, insufficient blood levels of vitamin D may be linked to increased cognitive impairment and more advanced physical disability in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS).
For the study, researchers from the University at Buffalo recruited 208 patients diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS and 28 with the more destructive, secondary progressive form of the disease.
After analyzing each patient’s blood serum samples and their MRI scans, the research team found that only 7 percent of participants with the more serious form of MS had sufficient levels of vitamin D. In contrast, nearly 20 percent of patients with the relapsing-remitting form of the disease had adequate blood levels of the nutrient.
Furthermore, the investigators discovered a link between extremely low vitamin D levels and poor neuropsychological assessments.
"Results showed that MS patients who were impaired on tests of executive function—critical reasoning and abstract thinking—and the ability to plan and organize, were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D," said lead author Sarah Morrow.