Effect of vitamin D and calcium on bone mineral density in children with CP and epilepsy in full-time care

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2000 Jun;42(6):403-5.


Atraumatic fractures are often seen in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) and epilepsy in full-time care. Increased bone fragility was postulated to be due to osteopenia resulting from a combination of factors including immobilization and antiepileptic treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of vitamin D and calcium substitution on bone mineral density (BMD) in a group of children with CP in full-time care. Twenty children with the most severe form of CP (spastic quadriplegia) who had been treated with antiepileptic drugs for a relatively long period of time were included in the study. Physical examination and laboratory analyses excluded other possible causes of osteopenia. BMD was measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Thirteen patients were treated for 9 months with 1,25-dihydroxy-cholecalciferol vitamin D (0.25 mcg daily) and with calcium (500 mg daily). Seven control children were used for observation only. BMD greatly increased in the treated group, while children with CP in full-time care who did not receive vitamin D and calcium substitution continued to lose their bone mass. It can be concluded that the addition of vitamin D and calcium increases BMD in children with the most severe form of CP, who are receiving antiepileptic drugs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent, Institutionalized
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / blood
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / complications
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / drug therapy*
  • Calcitriol / administration & dosage*
  • Calcium / administration & dosage*
  • Calcium / blood
  • Cerebral Palsy / blood
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Child
  • Child, Institutionalized
  • Epilepsy / blood
  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phosphates / blood
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Phosphates
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium