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