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Role of vitamin D in the physiopathology of neurodegenerative diseases].

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Biol Aujourdhui 2014 ; 208(1):77-88

Authors: Pascal Millet, Véréna Landel, Isabelle Virard, Maria Morello, François Féron

The involvement of vitamin D in brain function has been discovered in the past 25 years by epidemiological and fundamental studies. Research on neurodegenerative diseases and their animal or cellular models unveiled converging lines of evidence indicating that hypovitaminosis D is not just an effect of the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, but truly an aggravating co-factor, sometimes very closely related to their physiopathology. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone capable of regulating the expression of hundreds of genes through both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. This reflects the highly pleiotropic nature of its action in its conventional bone and phosphocalcic metabolism targets. Its role in the central nervous system and neurodegenerative diseases makes no exception to this rule. Here we focus on the identified role and mechanisms of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The important prevalence of hypovitaminosis D under our latitudes in general and in at-risk groups in particular, its easy evaluation and correction, and the results of early clinical studies, suggest that vitamin D supplementation could usefully complement our therapeutic armory to fight these diseases.

PMID: 24948021 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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