Lymphocyte vitamin C levels as potential biomarker for progression of Parkinson's disease

Kazuki Ide, Hiroshi Yamada, Keizo Umegaki, Katsuki Mizuno, Nobuko Kawakami, Yuka Hagiwara, Mizuki Matsumoto, Hidefumi Yoshida, Kang Kim, Emi Shiosaki, Tsunehiro Yokochi, Kiyoshi Harada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Vitamin C is a major antioxidant and also is known as a neuromodulator in dopaminergic neurons. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between lymphocyte and plasma vitamin C levels in various stages of Parkinson's disease (PD). Methods: Sixty-two individuals with PD (age 71±8.8y [mean±SD]) being treated at Shizuoka General Hospital from December 2007 to August 2013 were consecutively recruited. PD severity was classified using the Hoehn-Yahr scale for staging PD. Fasting blood samples were collected, and plasma and lymphocyte vitamin C levels were measured. The association between PD severity and vitamin C levels was estimated by ordinal logistic regression with confounding variables. Results: The distribution of Hoehn-Yahr stages in patients was as follows: stage I, 7; II, 28; III, 16; and IV, 11. Lymphocyte vitamin C levels in patients with severe PD were significantly lower (odds ratio [OR], 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80-0.97; P<0.01) compared with those at less severe stages. Plasma vitamin C levels also tended to be lower in patients with severe PD; however, this was not significant (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96-1.00; P=0.09). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that lymphocyte vitamin C levels in the peripheral blood may be a potentially useful biomarker for the progression of PD. •Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder in the world.•Oxidative stress may be a factor; vitamin C is an antioxidant and neuromodulator.•We assessed plasma and lymphocyte vitamin C levels in patients with PD.•Lymphocyte vitamin C levels were decreased in the severe stages of PD.•Lymphocyte vitamin C levels may be a useful biomarker for PD progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-408
Number of pages3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 1


  • Biomarkers
  • Clinical assessment
  • Oxidative stress
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Vitamin C


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