The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Vitamin D and the risk of dementia

    No prospective study has examined the association between vitamin D and cognitive decline or dementia,… until now.

    Researchers in the US, UK, and Italy studied whether low blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) are associated with an increased risk of substantial cognitive decline.

    First, the details.

    • 858 elderly adults completed interviews, cognitive and medical examinations, and provided blood samples.
    • A decline in reasoning (cognition) was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
      • A substantial decline was defined as at least 3 points.
    • The Trail-Making Tests A (using numbers) and B (uses numbers and letters) were used to evaluate visual attention and task switching.
      • A substantial decline was defined as the worst 10% of the distribution of decline or as discontinued testing.

    And, the results.

    • There was substantial cognitive decline in those with severely low 25(OH)D blood levels (less than 25 nmol/L) compared with those who had sufficient levels (greater than 74 nmol/L).
    • The scores of participants who were severely 25(OH)D deficient declined by an additional 0.3 MMSE points per year more than those with sufficient levels of 25(OH)D.
    • The relative risk for substantial decline on Trail-Making Test B (numbers ande letters) was significant, but not with Test A (numbers only).

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Low levels of vitamin D were associated with substantial cognitive decline in the elderly population studied over a 6-year period, which raises important new possibilities for treatment and prevention.”

    7/16/10 19:43 JR

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