Is There a Role for Vitamins in Neurodegeneration?

(February 2019)

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly population, currently affecting 46 million people worldwide. Histopathologically, the disease is characterized by the occurrence of extracellular amyloid plaques composed of aggregated amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles containing the microtubule-associated protein tau. Aβ peptides are derived from the sequential processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) by enzymes called secretases, which are strongly influenced by the lipid environment. Several vitamins have been reported to be reduced in the plasma/serum of AD-affected individuals indicating they have an impact on AD pathogenesis. In this review we focus on vitamin E and the other lipophilic vitamins A, D, and K, and summarize the current knowledge about their status in AD patients, their impact on cognitive functions and AD risk, as well as their influence on the molecular mechanisms of AD. The vitamins might affect the generation and clearance of Aβ both by direct effects and indirectly by altering the cellular lipid homeostasis. Additionally, vitamins A, D, E, and K are reported to influence further mechanisms discussed to be involved in AD pathogenesis, e.g., Aβ-aggregation, Aβ-induced neurotoxicity, oxidative stress, and inflammatory processes, as summarized in this article.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common form of neurodegeneration among the elderly population. PD is clinically characterized by tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, and postural imbalance. Interestingly, a significant association has been demonstrated between PD and low levels of vitamin D in the serum, and vitamin D supplement appears to have a beneficial clinical effect on PD. Genetic studies have provided the opportunity to determine which proteins link vitamin D to PD pathology, e.g., Nurr1 gene, toll-like receptor, gene related to lipid disorders, vascular endothelial factor, tyrosine hydroxylase, and angiogenin. Vitamin D also exerts its effects on cancer through nongenomic factors, e.g., bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccination, interleukin-10, Wntβ-catenin signaling pathways, mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, and the reduced form of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. In conclusion, vitamin D might have a beneficial role in PD. Calcitriol is best used for PD because it is the active form of the vitamin D(3) metabolite and modulates inflammatory cytokine expression. Further investigation with calcitriol in PD is needed

It can be genetic and cell signaling mechanisms.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly individuals and is associated with progressive memory loss and cognitive dysfunction. A significant association between AD and low levels of vitamin D has been demonstrated. Furthermore, vitamin D supplements appear to have a beneficial clinical effect on AD by regulating micro-RNA, enhancing toll-like receptors, modulating vascular endothelial factor expression, modulating angiogenin, and advanced glycation end products. Vitamin D also exerts its effects on AD by regulating calcium-sensing receptor expression, enhancing amyloid-β peptides clearance, interleukin 10, downregulating matrix metalloproteinases, upregulating heme oxygenase 1, and suppressing the reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate expression. In conclusion, vitamin D may play a beneficial role in AD. Calcitriol is the best vitamin D supplement for AD, because it is the active form of the vitamin D3 metabolite and modulates inflammatory cytokine expression. Therefore, further investigation of the role of calcitriol in AD is needed.
Parkinson disease (PD) is the second most common form of neurodegeneration among elderly individuals. PD is clinically characterized by tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, and postural imbalance. In this paper, we review the evidence for an association between PD and thiamine. Interestingly, a significant association has been demonstrated between PD and low levels of serum thiamine, and thiamine supplements appear to have beneficial clinical effects against PD. Multiple studies have evaluated the connection between thiamine and PD pathology, and candidate pathways involve the transcription factor Sp1, p53, Bcl-2, caspase-3, tyrosine hydroxylase, glycogen synthase kinase-3β, vascular endothelial growth factor, advanced glycation end products, nuclear factor kappa B, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and the reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. 

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