Does vitamin D supplementation reduce cognitive decline? [ 2007 - 2010 ]

Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof Nicola Lautenschlager (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Christopher Etherton-Beer Prof Leon Flicker Prof Osvaldo Almeida

Brief description Australia's population is ageing rapidly and so is the frequency of age-related disorders. Dementia is one of the most frequent mental health disorders of older people and one of the leading causes of years of life lost due to disability in Australia. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) in old age is considered an important clinical state predictive of future cognitive decline. There is increasing evidence that the onset of dementia can be delayed with targeting potentially modifiable risk factors. Vitamin D is important for healthy bones and muscle function, but is now also discussed as being important for healthy brain function. The purpose of this randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial is to investigate whether supplementation with vitamin D for 18 months in older adults with MCI who have low vitamin D levels, can help to reduce cognitive decline. 110 older adults with MCI will be randomised (by chance, like the flip of a coin) to either active treatment or placebo. Their cognition (such as memory) performance, quality of life and functional level will be compared at 6, 12, and 18 months. If our hypothesis is confirmed, vitamin D supplementation might prove to be a simple, effective and inexpensive way of delaying cognitive decline in people at risk for dementia. This could lead to the reconsideration of current sun exposure policies in Australia and the more widespread use of food fortification and supplementation.

Funding Amount $AUD 646,601.88

Funding Scheme NHMRC Strategic Awards

Notes Dementia Research Grants Program

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