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Mental health disorders

Low vitamin D levels linked to depression and cognitive deficits in psychotic disorders

Study shows a link between vitamin D and depression, while vitamin D deficiency was linked to impairments in processing speed and verbal fluency.

Previous research has shown that low vitamin D levels may be associated with increased disease severity in psychotic disorders.

To explore which symptoms are affected by vitamin D status, a team from the Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research recruited 358 patients and compared their vitamin D levels against measures of symptom severity.

The researchers found that low vitamin D levels were significantly associated with negative symptoms and depression. When they studied the performance of 225 patients alongside 159 healthy controls in cognitive function tests, vitamin D deficiency was also linked to impairments in processing speed and verbal fluency.

The team, who reported their findings at the International Early Psychosis Association Meeting in Milan in October 2016[1], say the results show the need for large randomised trials to explore any potential benefit of vitamin D in psychotic disorders.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2016.20201899

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