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A vitamin D test may reveal more than just an individual's nutritional status, it may also indicate their risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a new study published in the journal Archives of Neurology.
Previous studies have found that individuals who have Parkinson's disease tend to have lower levels of vitamin D than healthy people. However, these studies have offered no evidence as to whether a lack of the nutrient contributes to the disease. The new study helps bring science closer to answering this question.
Researchers from Emory University analyzed blood samples from 157 people who had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's. At this early stage of disease, they found that 69.4 percent had insufficient levels of the nutrient.
While the findings still do not show that vitamin D deficiency causes Parkinson's, it does illustrate it is present at an early stage of the disease, which means that there is likely a strong connection between the two.
"These findings are consistent with the possibility that long-term insufficiency is present before the clinical manifestations of [Parkinson's] and may play a role in the pathogenesis of [Parkinson's]," the researchers wrote in their report.
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