Over a billion people worldwide are affected by vitamin D deficiency. Although vitamin D deficiency is associated with impaired cognition, the mechanisms mediating this link are poorly understood. The extracellular matrix (ECM) has now emerged as an important participant of synaptic plasticity and a new hypothesis is that vitamin D may interact with aggregates of the ECM, perineuronal nets (PNNs), to regulate brain plasticity. Dysregulation of PNNs caused by vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the presentation of cognitive deficits. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underpinning the role of vitamin D in brain plasticity and cognition could help identify ways to treat cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric conditions.
Keywords: cognition; neuropsychiatric illness; perineuronal nets; synaptic plasticity; vitamin D deficiency.
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