November is National Alzheimer's Awareness Month and the serious issues of cognitive health will be in the spotlight in the coming weeks. The medical community agrees that cognitive impairment (CI), ranging from mild to severe, is almost epidemic in the U.S. as the Baby Boomer generation is aging and living longer. Scientists believe one reason is that the human brain begins shrinking after age 25. Structural changes and loss of brain synapses lead to rapid decline in cognitive health.
The solution is still unclear, however the good news is that the human brain has a greater degree of plasticity than scientists previously believed, and new studies, specifically those made in nutritional research, show that magnesium deficiency in adults may play a more important role in CI, and more seriously, Alzheimer's Disease (AD), than previously thought.
The results of one medically significant study spearheaded by Dr. Guosong Liu, one of the world's leading cognitive health researchers, suggest that elevation of brain magnesium through dietary intake of magnesium threonate exerts substantial positive effects on brain synapes in a mouse model of AD, actually restoring aging brains to their youthful conditions. The study is the first to show a mechanism for reversing cognitive decline in advanced stage AD mice, and is also the first to show an effective long-term treatment in AD mice.* More exciting, though, are the implications of this study for the potential for treating AD in humans.
Commenting on his work, Dr. Liu said, "The body of our peer-reviewed and published work underscores that magnesium threonate can help maintain healthy brain activity. There is no doubt that magnesium threonate has dramatic effects in preventing synapse loss and reversing memory decline in mice with Alzheimer's disease.
Furthermore, he states, "There is no question that cognitive impairment is a major fear and health issue for the nation. People are living longer and they want to take steps to maintain the quality of their physical and mental health. Cognitive impairment can affect a person's memory, language, perception, ability to plan and carry out tasks, and judgment. A recently concluded double blind, placebo-controlled human study, the 'gold standard' of science, demonstrates that dietary supplementation of Magtein, patented magnesium threonate, can significantly enhance human cognitive functions and decrease symptoms of cognitive impairments." The study is expected to be published in a leading peer-reviewed journal in 2014.
Dr. Peter Osborne, a Board Certified doctor of clinical nutrition, said, "Healthy cognitive function begins with a solid nutritional foundation. We know magnesium is essential to maintaining healthy brain functions. We know 50 million Americans are magnesium deficit because people do not eat enough foods that contain magnesium. We know that as we age our bodies naturally lose magnesium. For example, drinking coffee or caffeinated products increases the loss. This deficit must be replaced by taking a nutritional supplement. I use Magtein with my patients as a valuable part of my treatment protocols."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimates show that approximately 20% of people ages 55 and older will experience some form of cognitive impairment. The number and growth of the aging population in the U.S. is unprecedented. Two factors -- longer life spans and aging baby boomers -- will combine to double the population of American's aged 65 years or older during the next 25 year to about 72 million. By 2030, older adults will account for roughly 20% of the U.S. population.
- W. Li, J. Yu, Y. Liu, X. Huang, N. Abumaria, Y. Zhu, X. Huang, W. Xiong, C. Ren, X.-G. Liu, D. Chui, G. Liu. Elevation of Brain Magnesium Prevents and Reverses Cognitive Deficits and Synaptic Loss in Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013; 33 (19): 8423 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4610-12.2013
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