Vitamin D and the Central Nervous System: Development, Protection, and Disease

Samantha Roman, Ellen M. Mowry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Vitamin D is a secosteroid that plays an important role in the central nervous system (CNS). Through binding to the vitamin D receptor (VDR), which is found throughout the CNS, 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D3 regulates gene transcription to exert neurotrophic and immunomodulatory effects. As a result of various downstream responses, vitamin D signaling provides neuroprotection, decreasing damage and accelerating recovery from a variety of CNS insults. As a result, a growing body of scientific literature addresses a possible relationship between this steroid, or lack thereof, and a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. In the first sections of this chapter, we will summarize the current understanding of the role vitamin D plays in CNS protection and development. In the latter section, we will examine existing evidence that vitamin D plays a role in neurodegenerative diseases, specifically evaluating if vitamin D availability may modify the risk, prognosis, and treatment outcomes for patients with Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationContemporary Endocrinology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameContemporary Endocrinology
ISSN (Print)2523-3785
ISSN (Electronic)2523-3793


  • Alzheimer disease (AD)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Neurology
  • Parkinson disease (PD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Vitamin D and the Central Nervous System: Development, Protection, and Disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this