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Many studies have shown that magnesium has a positive effect on the health of the human brain in numerous ways. Research has found that there could be a link between magnesium deficiency and cognitive impairment, which can be improved by increasing the magnesium intake on a daily basis. Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of the book The Magnesium Miracle, provides more than 600 researched medical references in the latest edition of the book, many of which have direct reference to central nervous system function. Some of the fundamentals that define cognition are laid out in the PDF attachment to this post. In the 2017 edition of her book, Dr. Carolyn Dean lays out some of the ways in which magnesium deficiency can be linked to a variety of health conditions, many of which relate to brain function. 

Magnesium for Memory, Learning and Cognition 

A scientific study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published in 2016 found that brain ageing could be reversed by between nine and 14 years in people who took a particular magnesium supplement. This compound was found to boost levels of magnesium in the brain by around 15 percent, which in turn led to increased brain plasticity. Dr. Dean says that a free online book called Magnesium and the CNS shows that any form of magnesium can have positive effects on brain function: 

Brain plasticity is the name given to the ability of the human brain to create new neural pathways or connections when new information is taken in. As we learn new information or new skills, our brains essentially create new “wires” or synaptic connections to help us store and process that information. Memories start to fade, particularly in older people, when these connections begin to deteriorate. The brain gradually loses plasticity and becomes less flexible and able to learn new information or retain memory as we age. The MIT study showed that lost plasticity could be restored in participants who took magnesium supplements. 

The infographic attachment looks at the prevalence of cognitive impairment in the population of the United States. 

Enhancing Recovery from Brain Trauma and Stroke 

Dr. Carolyn Dean discusses how higher levels of magnesium can enhance recovery from conditions such as stroke or brain trauma. Neurotoxin damage from chemicals in food, air and water can be increased where the individual lacks magnesium. Recovery from neurological damage or head injuries can also be longer and harder in people lacking in magnesium. The population of the United States is at a higher risk of stroke and is typically deficient in magnesium. Magnesium supplements can be given to patients who are recovering from brain trauma to create a better healing outcome. The chances of brain edema after brain injury are significantly reduced when IV magnesium sulfate is given. This can also be used to treat patients with severe traumatic brain injuries without adverse effects. 

Neurodegenerative Diseases 

Along with improving memory, increasing brain plasticity and enhancing recovery from a variety of conditions, magnesium may also help to prevent various neurodegenerative diseases and disorders. Chronically low levels of magnesium and calcium have been linked to the onset of several neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s disease. More information about Alzheimer’s disease can be seen in the attached short video. Studies on rats have made it clear that boosting levels of magnesium greatly reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Not only could it help prevent the onset of the condition, but IV injections of a magnesium compound or a picometer-size stabilized ionic form of magnesium could actually reverse many symptoms already present. These same studies on rats supported the ability of magnesium to restore cognitive function and losses in brain plasticity.