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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

Chapter 17 - Magnesium in Parkinson's disease: an update in clinical and basic aspects

from Section 2 - Magnesium in Neurological Diseases


Magnesium (Mg) is essential for cell functions such as transport of calcium and potassium ions, and modulates signal transduction, energy metabolism, and cell proliferation. Several studies elucidated a reduced concentration of Mg in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), and experimentally, severe loss of dopaminergic neurons exclusively in the substantia nigra in 1-year-old rats that had been subjected to continuously low Mg intake (one-fifth of the normal level) over generations. A study conducted by the authors revealed a significant and striking effect of Mg to prevent neurite and neuron pathology, and also to ameliorate neurite pathology in a rat Parkinson disease (PD) model involving culture of ventral mesencephalic-striatal cells with 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+). Mg is expected to prevent and ameriolate Parkinson's disease in cases where it would be able to cross into the brain in a suitable way.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease occurring in middle-aged and aged humans characterized by clinical symptoms including tremor and rigidity (Parkinson, 1817). It has been reported that almost 90% of the patients are sporadic and 10% are familial. Sporadic PD shows neuropathological features involving the appearance of Lewy bodies (Lewy, 1912; Tretiakoff, 1919) and loss of neurons in the substantia nigra (Figures 1 and 2) and substantia innominata.

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Magnesium in the Central Nervous System
  • Online ISBN: 9780987073051
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