The Beneficial Role of Vitamin D in Alzheimer’s Disease
AbstractAlzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly individuals and is associated with progressive neurodegeneration of the human neocortex. Patients with AD have a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, which is also associated with low mood and impaired cognitive performance in older people. Genetic studies have provided the opportunity to determine which proteins link vitamin D to AD pathology (ie, the major histocompatibility complex class II molecules, vitamin D receptor, renin–angiotensin system, apolipoprotein E, liver X receptor, Sp1 promoter gene, and the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1gene). Vitamin D also exerts its effect on AD through nongenomic factors, that is, L-type voltage-sensitive calcium channels, nerve growth factor, the prostaglandins, cyclooxygenase 2, reactive oxygen species, and nitric oxide synthase. In conclusion, vitamin D clearly has a beneficial role in AD and improves cognitive function in some patients with AD. Calcitriol, 1αα,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, is best used for AD because of its active form of vitamin D3 metabolite and its receptor in the central nervous system.