Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Vitamin D status linked to mental functioning and mood among patients with psychosis

Vitamin D status linked to mental functioning and mood among patients with psychosis

New research presented at the 15th International Congress on Schizophrenia Research (ICOSR) found that low vitamin D levels in first-onset psychosis is associated with function and mood one year later.

Psychosis refers to an abnormal condition of the mind in which one loses contact with reality. People who experience psychosis may have hallucinations or delusions. There are many different causes of psychosis, including drugs, dementia, stroke, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

Case control studies have found that patients with psychosis have lower vitamin D levels than healthy adults. However, whether low vitamin D levels affect the signs and symptoms of the disease is unknown.

Researchers recently evaluated vitamin D levels of 166 patients at first onset of psychosis and again 12 months later to further our understanding of vitamin D’s role in psychosis.

The average vitamin D status was 13.64 ng/ml and only 18.7% of the patients were considered vitamin D sufficient (greater than 20 ng/ml).

The researchers assessed the symptoms of psychosis one year later with the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS). GAF is a scale that rates the social, occupational, and psychological functioning of adults. PANSS measures the symptom severity of patients with schizophrenia. CDSS is a structured interview tool used to assess depression in people suffering from schizophrenia.

The researchers found that low vitamin D levels correlated significantly with lower overall GAF scores (p = 0.02), poorer function (p = 0.05), quality of life scores (p = 0.02) and PANSS scores (p = 0.03).

The researchers concluded,

“The idea of vitamin D as potentially neuroprotective in psychosis deserves exploration.”


Melville N. Low Vitamin D Common in Early-Stage Psychosis. Medscape, 2015.