Journal List > Dement Neurocogn Disord > v.11(4) > 1120789

Dement Neurocogn Disord. 2012 Dec;11(4):111-117. Korean.
Published online Dec 31, 2012.
Copyright© 2012 Korean Dementia Association
Vitamin D Deficiency and Cognitive Dysfunction
Yeonsil Moon, M.D.,* and Seol-Heui Han, M.D.*,
*Department of Neurology, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Address for correspondence: Seol-Heui Han, M.D. Department of Neurology, Konkuk University School of Medicine, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701, Korea. Tel: +82-2-2030-7561, Fax: +82-2-2030-7469, Email:
Received Aug 28, 2012; Revised Oct 25, 2012; Accepted Nov 18, 2012.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vitamin D is not a true vitamin but a fat-soluble steroid prohormone that has long been known for its important and diverse role in the biological system. Many studies have revealed that vitamin D deficiency is linked with an increased risk of autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, type II diabetes and infectious diseases. Vitamin D3 is transformed to its active form, 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, through metabolisms in the liver and kidney. 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 interacts with its vitamin D receptor, and the brain is now known to have vitamin D receptors and 1α-hydroxylase. Several lines of evidences suggest vitamin D deficiency is associated with cognitive impairment and dementia, however, its position in cognitive function is still in its infancy. Vitamin D deficiency is a reversible condition and can be easily treated with supplements. Randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation in patients with neurodegenerative conditions are needed.

Keywords: Vitamin D deficiency; Cognition; Alzheimer's disease (AD)


Table 1
Major studies of the association between Vitamin D and cognitive decline or dementia
Click for larger image

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