Can vitamin D prevent dementia?

Researchers at the University of Calgary are launching a national project to gain more insight into the brain as we age.

The CAN-PROTECT project, led by Dr. Zahinoor Ismail, will start on Wednesday. On the same day, a new paper co-authored by him showed that taking vitamin D could help prevent dementia.

“We compared the incidence of dementia in older adults who took vitamin D with those who did not, for over 10 years,” said the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of C and Exeter. Professor Ismail said. England.

The 12,000 participants in this study, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, were part of the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center in the United States. Their average age was 71 years old and he was demented-free at the time of enrollment. Approximately 37% of participants were taking vitamin D supplements.

“This is very important because we found that people who took vitamin D at baseline were probably 40% less likely to develop dementia compared to those who didn’t take any vitamin D. It is a relevance.

The researchers also found that the effect was greater in women than in men, and in people with normal cognitive functioning than in those with mild cognitive impairment, which is associated with a higher risk of developing dementia. I also found something big.

Ismail said it could suggest that “the sooner you start, the more you can prevent progression.”

Ismail said he and others are currently working to obtain data specific to Canada through a national research project.

It is modeled after an online platform called PROTECT, based at the University of Exeter. The platform combines an annual survey of detailed lifestyle factors with several cognitive tests to determine what keeps your brain sharp for the rest of your life.

He said the Canadian project will build on the results of vitamin D studies by US participants.

“Since we are further north, there are other variables that we would like to measure more closely regarding your ethnic cultural group: whether you live in a sunny location, whether you go south in the winter,” Ismail said. I got

“There are many other variables that we would like to know to further our understanding.”

The study will be conducted online and researchers hope to recruit about 10,000 participants from across Canada.

“People sign up with a research partner who has known them well for at least five years and have annual measurements of health and wellness, risk and resilience, cognitive and behavioral functioning.

He said the study has been running for 20 years and is always open to people from all disciplines and backgrounds.

“This is a way to really understand how the brain ages over time,” said Ismail, who is also looking at the many other factors that can affect vitamin D and the brain. He pointed out that it would be investigated.

The study will also include testing of people who care for people with dementia, he added.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 1, 2023.

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