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Magnesium may stabilize glaucoma

Magnesium may stabilize glaucoma

Following up on previous studies which had found a reduced magnesium content in aqueous humor, anterior sclera and tear fluid of patients with various stages of glaucoma (POAG), a group of researchers in Moscow conducted a study to determine whether a magnesium-containing supplement might have a beneficial effect on IOP, visual fields and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness.

In the study, 22 POAG patients (mean age 61.1 ±2.5 years; r: 42 to 72) received hypotensive therapy supplemented by Magnerot (Wörwag Pharma, Germany) daily for six weeks: two tablespoons three times a day for one week, then one or two tablespoons two to three times a day for five more weeks. As a control, 16 POAG patients (63.7 ±2.7 years) received hypotensive therapy without Magnerot. The group assessed the optic nerve before treatment and at one, two, three and five months post-treatment. In addition to perimetry and retinal tomography, the ORA (Reichert) was used to measure corneal-compensated IOPcc, IOP equivalent to Goldmann (IOPG) and corneal hysteresis.

The treatment group showed almost twice as many improved visual field results as the control group. IOPG dropped by 3.3 ±0.4 mmHg after adding the magnesium supplement; IOPcc dropped by 4.1 ±0.3 mmHg (both p<0.05). Perimetry showed a significant increase in total functional visual field (from 426.5 ±7.8 to 452.5 ±8.8 degrees, p<0.05), mainly in patients with moderate glaucoma, and analysis of the MD index showed reduction in the total depression of sensitivity from an average of -5.8 dB to -3.9 dB (p>0.5). Furthermore, the average thickness of the RNFL tended to grow in patients in the early stages of glaucoma (from 0.25 ±0.02 mm to 0.27 ±0.01 mm) and moderate stage (0.19 ±0.03 mm to 0.21 ±0.02 mm) following treatment.

The authors believe these results suggest that a magnesium-containing supplement may have a stabilizing effect on the course of glaucoma, and recommend further study.

Source:  Review of Ophthalmology Online
article by Peter A. Netland, MD, PhD, and Kuldev Singh, MD, MPH, Section Editors

Magnesium (Mg2+) is known to play a major role in cellular metabolism (Lin et al., 2002) and is critical for nervous system functioning (Paymaster, 1976; Furukawa et al., 2009). Aberrations in Mg2+ homeostasis leads to biochemical dysregulation and may contribute to psychological and neurological disorders such as depression (Whittle et al., 2011; Murck, 2002; Rasmussen et al., 1989; Singewald et al., 2011), Parkinson’s Disease (Shindo et al., 2011) and glaucoma (Crish et al., 2012). Increases in brain Mg2+ enhanced short-term synaptic facilitation and long-term potentiation as well as spatial memory (Slutsky et al., 2010). A newly developed compound, Magnesium-L-threonate (MgT; brand name Magtein™) has been shown to significantly enhance bioavailability and produce 7–15% increases in rat CSF Mg2+ while other magnesium compounds tested failed to significantly elevate Mg2+ in CSF when compared to controls (Slutsky et al., 2010).


Here are some key facts about magnesium:

  • 50 million Americans are magnesium deficient
  • Magnesium deficiency may play important role in cognitive impairment
  • Magnesium threonate has dramatic effects in preventing synapse loss and reversing memory decline in mice with Alzheimer's disease
  • Magtein (magnesium threonate) treatment benefits performance on working, spatial and recognition memory tasks
  • Magnesium Is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body
  • Exists in over 300 different bodily enzymes
  • Magnesium is found primarily in your bones (50% of total body magnesium)
  • Magnesium plays a role in your body’s detoxification processes
  • Magnesium aids your energy metabolism and protein synthesis
  • Helps guide a large number of physiological functions
  • Magnesium is required for synthesis of glutathione (the “master antioxidant”)
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