A recent study shows that low vitamin D status is associated with increased negative and depressive symptoms in psychotic disorders.
The finding is presented at this year’s International Early Psychosis Association meeting in Milan, Italy. Researchers from the University of Oslo in Norway conducted the study.
Previous research has found that low vitamin D levels are associated with increased disease severity in psychotic disorders.
In the current study, researchers investigated if low vitamin D status was associated with a specific symptom profile and if vitamin D deficiency was related to cognitive deficits in young people with a psychotic disorder.
The studies recruited patients from in and outpatient clinics, and healthy controls.
In the first experiment, researchers included 358 patients. Their symptoms were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia.
In the second experiment, researchers included 225 patients and 159 controls. They were tested with a cognitive test battery including processing speed, verbal learning, verbal memory and executive function tests.
Advanced statistical analysis was performed to enable control for other factors that could influence the results.
The result showed that low vitamin D levels were strongly associated with increased negative and depressive symptoms.
In addition, there was an association between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairments in processing speed and verbal fluency.
Researchers suggest that the associations between low vitamin D levels and high negative and depressive symptoms, and decreased cognitive performance lay a basis for planning large-scale studies in target populations.
Currently, researchers are running studies investigating potential associations between vitamin D levels and brain structures as measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
News Source: International Early Psychosis Association.
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