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August 1965

Plasma and Erythrocyte Magnesium in Muscular Dystrophy

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pediatrics and pathology, University of Arkansas Medical Center, Little Rock and the departments of pediatrics and physiology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn. Resident in Pediatric Neurology, University of Arkansas Medical Center (Dr. Boellner); Physical Therapist, Vanderbilt University Hospital (D. Frederickson); Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology, University of Arkansas Medical Center (Dr. Hughes). Special Fellow (Pediatric Neurology) NINDB, National Institutes of Health, University of Arkansas Medical Center (Dr. Boellner). Post-doctoral Fellow, Muscular Dystrophy Association, during this investigation (Dr. Olson).

Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(2):172-175. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030182014

ABNORMALITIES in magnesium metabolism have been reported in nutritional disorders as well as in human muscular dystrophy. Magnesium concentration is lowered in skeletal muscle and erythrocytes by feeding rabbits a vitamin E deficient diet.1 Magnesium in serum is reported to be more tightly bound in dystrophic patients than in those in a normal state2 Studies of magnesium metabolism in pseudohypertrophic muscular dystrophy are appropriate since magnesium can function as a metal cofactor in many reactions of muscle metabolism,3 and optimum levels of magnesium are necessary for normal contraction and relaxation of muscle fibers.4

The present paper reports magnesium levels determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry5 in plasma and erythrocytes from normal subjects and patients with pseudohypertrophic muscular dystrophy.

Materials and Methods  Subject.—Twenty-three subjects with the clinical diagnosis of pseudohypertrophic muscular dystrophy (Duchenne type) were compared to 28 healthy controls. All subjects were white males

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