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June 1965

Neurological Aspects of Magnesium Metabolism

Author Affiliations

From the Neurological Clinical Research Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, the Neurological Institute, Presbyterian Hospital, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Markle Scholar in Medical Science, Associate Professor of Neurology.

Arch Neurol. 1965;12(6):562-569. doi:10.1001/archneur.1965.00460300010002

THE NERVOUS system is influenced greatly by alterations in the concentration of the major cations in the extracellular fluid. The neurological manifestations of disorders of calcium, sodium, and potassium metabolism have been rather well defined. There are also considerable data which demonstrate that derangement of the metabolism of magnesium, the body's fourth most abundant cation, also profoundly affects the nervous system. Several recent publications serve as useful sources for comprehensive review of the biological role of magnesium.1-4

During the last four years, we have measured serum magnesium concentrations in a large number of patients in an effort to correlate changes in concentration with neurological status in a variety of clinical settings. The purpose of this communication is to review the relationship of magnesium metabolism to neural function, to document with illustrative cases the magnesium deficiency syndrome, to outline the indications for magnesium replacement therapy, to discuss magnesium intoxication

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