09 February 2010

Magnesium preparations are useful for the mind – but not all are the same

The diet to a greater extent than is commonly believed, can affect cognitive abilities. Determining those components of food that contribute to the maintenance and formation of synaptic connections between neurons responsible for memory and cognitive abilities, and assigning them to elderly people as well as patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, will help to stop memory deterioration and improve their learning abilities.

Magnesium is a trace element necessary for the proper functioning of many body tissues, including the brain. Most of the population of industrial countries does not receive enough magnesium with traditional nutrition, and magnesium deficiency increases with age. This fact may be one of the reasons for the age-related deterioration of memory and cognitive abilities in older people.

In previous studies, a group of Chinese scientists working under the leadership of the director of the Center for Learning and Memory at Jinghua University in Beijing, Professor Guosong Liu, demonstrated that magnesium contributes to the increase in synaptic plasticity of cultured brain cells. The next step was to study the effect of increased magnesium content in the brain of rats on the cognitive abilities of animals.

Traditional oral medications containing elevated concentrations of magnesium rarely lead to the accumulation of this trace element in the brain.

In the article "Enhancement of Learning and Memory by Elevating Brain Magnesium", published in the January issue of the journal Neuron, scientists demonstrated that the drug they developed for oral administration, magnesium-L-threonate (magnesium-L-threonate, MgT), which leads to a significant increase in the concentration of magnesium in the brain, improves short- and long-term the memory of young and old rats, as well as increases their learning abilities.

The researchers monitored changes in the behavior of animals treated with MgT and studied the effect of increased doses of magnesium on the brain of rats at the cellular and molecular levels. They showed that the improvement of rat memory is associated with an increase in the number of functional synapses, activation of key signaling molecules and a more favorable course of short- and long-term synaptic processes responsible for memorization.

It should be noted that the control animals received a full-fledged feed with a sufficient amount of magnesium (according to existing standards), and the improvement of memory and cognitive abilities in the experimental group of rats was associated with an increased magnesium content in their diets.

According to Professor Liu, enriching the diet of elderly people with magnesium can improve their cognitive abilities and slow down age-related memory loss.

Daria Chervyakova
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru Based on ScienceDaily: Magnesium Supplement Helps Boost Brainpower09.02.2010

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version