The relationship between balance control and vitamin D in Parkinson's disease—a pilot study

Authors

  • Amie L. Peterson MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Parkinson's Center of Oregon, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
    2. Parkinson's Disease Research and Education Center, Portland Veterans Affairs Hospital, Portland, Oregon, USA
    • Corresponding author: Dr. A. Peterson, Parkinson's Center of Oregon, Mail Code: OP-32, Oregon Health and Science University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239-3098; peterami@ohsu.edu

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  • Martina Mancini PhD,

    1. Parkinson's Center of Oregon, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
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  • Fay B. Horak PT, PhD

    1. Parkinson's Center of Oregon, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
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  • Funding agencies: PSG Mentored Clinical Research Award supported by the Parkinson's Study Group and Pakrinson's Disease Foundation Advancing Parkinson's Treatments Innovations Grant. The Department of Veteran's Affairs Career development award - The effects of vitamin D on balance in persons with Parkinson's. The Oregon Clinical and Translation Research Institute (OCTRI), grant number UL1 RR024140 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. UDALL - NIH P3NS062684. Portland VA PADRECC.

  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Nothing to disclose.

  • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the Acknowledgments section online.

ABSTRACT

Background

Balance problems and falls are a major source of morbidity and mortality in patients with Parkinson's disease. Vitamin D supplementation reduces falls and sway in neurologically intact elderly fallers, but effects in Parkinson's disease are not established.

Methods

To study this relationship and select outcome measures for a vitamin D intervention study, balance function and vitamin D concentration were quantified in a series of Parkinson's patients in a cross-sectional, observational study. Participants underwent a battery of 5 balance tests.

Results

Serum vitamin D concentrations were correlated inversely with Parkinson's severity, as measured by the motor Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale. Among the balance measures, vitamin D concentrations were correlated with automatic posture responses to backwards translation, specifically with response strength and stance weight asymmetry.

Conclusions

These findings support the hypothesis that vitamin D plays a role in balance among patients with Parkinson's disease and identify specific outcome measures for detecting effects of vitamin D upon balance. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society

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