Low vitamin D levels among the elderly is associated with accelerated cognitive decline and impaired performance, according to a study published online in JAMA Neurology. Researchers went so far as to say that for darker-skinned individuals, low vitamin D levels should be considered a risk factor for dementia… Vitamin D deficient individuals experienced cognitive declines two-to-three times faster than those with adequate serum vitamin D levels, according to researchers from from the University of California Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center and Rutgers University. In other words, it took only two years for the deficient individuals to decline as much as their counterparts with adequate vitamin D declined over the same time… “Independent of race or ethnicity, baseline cognitive abilities and a host of other risk factors, vitamin D insufficiency was associated with significantly faster declines in both episodic memory and executive function performance,” said lead author Joshua Miller, PhD, in a news release. Miller was professor in the UCD department of pathology and laboratory medicine at the time when the research was conducted and is now professor and chair of the department of nutritional sciences at Rutgers University. Vitamin D levels were not significantly associated with a decline in semantic memory or visuospatial ability.