The Possible Role of Vitamin K Deficiency in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease and in Augmenting Brain Damage Associated With Cardiovascular Disease

Med Hypotheses. 2001 Aug;57(2):151-5. doi: 10.1054/mehy.2001.1307.

Abstract

The incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) increases with age and in carriers of the apolipoprotein E4 genotype. A relative deficiency of vitamin K, affecting the extrahepatic functions of the vitamin, is common in ageing men and women. The concentration of vitamin K is lower in the circulating blood of APOE4 carriers than in that of persons with other APOE genotypes. Evidence is accumulating that vitamin K has important functions in the brain, including the regulation of sulfotransferase activity and the activity of a growth factor/tyrosine kinase receptor (Gas 6/Axl). The hypothesis is now proposed that vitamin K deficiency contributes to the pathogenesis of AD and that vitamin K supplementation may have a beneficial effect in preventing or treating the disease. Vitamin K may also reduce neuronal damage associated with cardiovascular disease.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Apolipoproteins E / physiology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cell Survival
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Vitamin K Deficiency / complications*

Substances

  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Apolipoproteins E