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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 192747, 11 pages
Review Article

Vitamin D and Alzheimer’s Disease: Neurocognition to Therapeutics

1Department of Biochemistry, ICARE Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Haldia 721645, India
2Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata 700020, India

Received 31 May 2015; Accepted 16 July 2015

Academic Editor: Francesco Panza

Copyright © 2015 Anindita Banerjee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the major cause of dementia worldwide, is characterized by progressive loss of memory and cognition. The sporadic form of AD accounts for nearly 90% of the patients developing this disease. The last century has witnessed significant research to identify various mechanisms and risk factors contributing to the complex etiopathogenesis of AD by analyzing postmortem AD brains and experimenting with animal and cell culture based models. However, the treatment strategies, as of now, are only symptomatic. Accumulating evidences suggested a significant association between vitamin D deficiency, dementia, and AD. This review encompasses the beneficial role of vitamin D in neurocognition and optimal brain health along with epidemiological evidence of the high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D among aged and AD population. Moreover, disrupted signaling, altered utilization of vitamin D, and polymorphisms of several related genes including vitamin D receptor (VDR) also predispose to AD or AD-like neurodegeneration. This review explores the relationship between this gene-environmental influence and long term vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for development of sporadic AD along with the role and rationale of therapeutic trials with vitamin D. It is, therefore, urgently warranted to further establish the role of this potentially neuroprotective vitamin in preventing and halting progressive neurodegeneration in AD patients.