Vitamin D in clinically isolated syndrome: Evidence for possible neuroprotection

E. M. Mowry, D. Pelletier, Z. Gao, M. D. Howell, S. S. Zamvil, E. Waubant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: Vitamin D status has been associated with inflammatory activity in multiple sclerosis (MS), but it is not known if it is associated with gray matter volume, the loss of which predicts long-term disability in MS. The association of vitamin D levels with brain volume measures and inflammatory activity in patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) was investigated. Methods: In the phase 2 CIS trial of atorvastatin, 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were evaluated for their age-adjusted associations with normalized gray matter and brain parenchymal volumes on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The relationships between 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and clinical and MRI measures of inflammatory activity were also assessed. Results: In 65 patients in this substudy, each 25 nmol/l higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was associated with 7.8 ml higher gray matter volume (95% confidence interval 1.0, 14.6, P = 0.025). There was a tendency for an inverse association of average 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and the composite end-point of ≥3 new brain T2 lesions or ≥1 relapse within a year (odds ratio per 25 nmol/l higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D level 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.41, 1.08, P = 0.096). Conclusions: Vitamin D status may impact neurodegeneration after CIS, although these results should be replicated in a second study. If confirmed in clinical trials, vitamin D supplementation may reduce long-term disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-332
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Demyelinating disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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