Role of vitamin d in Parkinson's disease.ISRN Neurol 2012; 2012:134289IN
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common form of neurodegeneration in the elderly population. Clinically, it is characterized by tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, and postural imbalance. A significant association between low serum vitamin D and PD has been demonstrated, suggesting that elevated vitamin D levels might provide protection against PD. Genetic studies have helped identify a number of proteins linking vitamin D to PD pathology, including the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, the vitamin D receptor (VDR), cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6), chromosome 22, the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 gene (PARP-1), neurotrophic factor (NTF), and Sp1 transcription factor. Vitamin D has also been implicated in PD through its effects on L-type voltage-sensitive calcium channels (L-VSCC), nerve growth factor (NGF), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), prostaglandins (PGs) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and nitric oxide synthase (NOS). A growing body of evidence suggests that vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial for PD patients. Among the different forms of vitamin D, calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3)) is best indicated for PD, because it is a highly active vitamin D(3) metabolite with an appropriate receptor in the central nervous system (CNS).