Magical thinking, increased feelings of suspicion and low levels of vitamin D? These may be symptoms of early-stage psychosis. New research suggests that low levels of the vitamin in first-onset psychosis correlate with function and mood 12 months after diagnosis. The study was recently presented at the 15th International Congress on Schizophrenia Research in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The findings were noted on Medscape.com.
"Low vitamin D is commonly found in people with psychosis, but it is unclear whether this is a result of psychosis, a predisposing factor, or relating to common risk factors," first author Fiona Gaughran, MD, of the National Psychosis Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, UK, told Medscape.com. "Clinical trials are needed to determine whether screening and prescribing supplemental vitamin D is indicated in psychosis."
The researchers analyzed vitamin D levels in 166 patients at first onset of psychosis and then again 12 months later. They also collected measurements from a separate group of 324 patients who were known to have had psychosis for a period of approximately 15 years.
The newly diagnosed patients had a mean vitamin D level of 13.64 ng/ml, much lower than the 20 ng/ml that’s considered adequate, according to the study. Among the 324 patients with psychosis, the levels were even lower, at 12.38 ng/ml. Low levels of vitamin D correlated significantly with disease signs and symptoms 12 months after presentation.
Last year, a review of research published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that people deficient in vitamin D are twice as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia as people with sufficient levels of the vitamin.