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Parkinson's Disease and the " Sunshine " Vitamin | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2161-0460

Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism
Open Access

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Review Article

Parkinson's Disease and the " Sunshine " Vitamin

Lucy Elisabeth James1 and Ayodeji A Asuni2*

1Biomedical Sciences Undergraduate Program, Centre for Biological Sciences, Institute for Life Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom

2Centre for Biological Sciences, Institute for Life Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom

Corresponding Author:
Ayodeji A Asuni
Centre for Biological Sciences
Institute for Life Sciences
University of Southampton
Southampton, United Kingdom
Tel: 02380599007
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: June 11, 2013; Accepted date: July 17, 2013; Published date: July 23, 2013

Citation: James LE, Asuni AA (2013) Parkinson’s Disease and the “Sunshine” Vitamin. J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism 3:120. doi:

Copyright: © 2013 James LE, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Accrued evidence suggesting that hypovitaminosis D acts as a risk factor for developing Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains controversial. Herein we evaluated existing results, and outline several biological mechanisms by which the hypovitaminosis D-PD relationship may occur. We performed a meta-analysis, using data obtained from a search of PubMed from July 2002 to July 2012, for studies reporting serum vitamin D levels in PD and control patients.We found that in comparison to healthy individuals, those with PD had lower levels of serum vitamin D. Furthermore, we explore a number of potential associated biological mechanisms, including the actions of reactive nitrogen species (RNS), glutathione (GSH), and glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the brain. We also examine the roles of Nurr1 and VDR genes in PD. Although a unifying hypothesis remains challenging, there is evidence to demonstrate that supplementation with the vitamin can to have a positive effect on PD pathobiology. We surmise that hypovitaminosis D does act as a risk factor in the development of PD. However, the need for new epidemiological studies and further research around vitamin D metabolism is highlighted. Urgent efforts to correct vitamin D deficiency through supplementation are warranted as they may improve either motor and/or non-motor symptoms in PD.