Higher serum vitamin D3 levels are associated with better cognitive test performance in patients with Alzheimer's disease

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2008;25(6):539-43. doi: 10.1159/000134382. Epub 2008 May 26.


Background/aims: Recent studies suggest that vitamin D metabolites may be important for preserving cognitive function via specific neuroprotective effects. No large studies have examined the association between vitamin D status and cognition.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we analyzed the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) levels and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) test scores of 225 older outpatients who were diagnosed as having probable Alzheimer's disease (AD). In addition to the 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) levels, we analyzed the serum vitamin B(1), B(6) and B(12) levels.

Results: An association was found between MMSE test scores and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) levels, with a beta-coefficient of 0.05 (p = 0.01). Vitamin-D-sufficient patients had significantly higher MMSE scores as compared to vitamin-D-insufficient ones. No association was found with the other serum vitamin levels.

Conclusions: These data support the idea that a relationship exists between vitamin D status and cognition in patients with probable AD. However, given the cross-sectional design of this study, no causality can be concluded. Further prospective studies are needed to specify the contribution of vitamin D status to the onset and course of cognitive decline and AD.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Cholecalciferol / blood*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Thiamine / blood
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood
  • Vitamin B 6 / blood


  • Cholecalciferol
  • Vitamin B 6
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Thiamine