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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