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Several recent studies have shown that vitamin D testing may benefit seniors, as the nutrient has been linked to improved brain function and may prevent cognitive decline as individuals grow older.
One such study, which was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that patients who were substantially vitamin D deficient were 60 percent more likely to develop significant cognitive impairment than seniors who had sufficient levels of the nutrient.
Investigators from the University of Exeter in England used blood tests to examine the levels of vitamin D in 858 adults over age 65. They then administered tests that measured the participants' mental ability three times during the course of the six-year trial.
"The association remained significant after adjustment for a wide range of potential confounders and when analyses were restricted to elderly subjects who were non-demented at baseline," wrote David Llewellyn, who led the investigation.
He added that the association between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive decline observed during the testing could open up possible new avenues for prevention and treatment of the condition which puts a tremendous strain on families and the healthcare system.
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