Prostate Cancer, Magnesium, and Vitamin C TopicalJune 2016
By Life Extension
Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium.
Learning and memory are fundamental brain functions affected by dietary and environmental factors. Here, we show that increasing brain magnesium using a newly developed magnesium compound (magnesium-L-threonate, MgT) leads to the enhancement of learning abilities, working memory, and short- and long-term memory in rats. The pattern completion ability was also improved in aged rats. MgT-treated rats had higher density of synaptophysin-/synaptobrevin-positive puncta in DG and CA1 subregions of hippocampus that were correlated with memory improvement. Functionally, magnesium increased the number of functional presynaptic release sites, while it reduced their release probability. The resultant synaptic reconfiguration enabled selective enhancement of synaptic transmission for burst inputs. Coupled with concurrent upregulation of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors and its downstream signaling, synaptic plasticity induced by correlated inputs was enhanced. Our findings suggest that an increase in brain magnesium enhances both short-term synaptic facilitation and long-term potentiation and improves learning and memory functions.
Neuron. 2010 Jan 28;65(2):165-77
Brain plasticity and functional losses in the aged: scientific bases for a novel intervention.
Aging is associated with progressive losses in function across multiple systems, including sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect. The traditional view has been that functional decline in aging is unavoidable because it is a direct consequence of brain machinery wearing down over time. In recent years, an alternative perspective has emerged, which elaborates on this traditional view of age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint—based upon decades of research in neuroscience, experimental psychology, and other related fields—argues that as people age, brain plasticity processes with negative consequences begin to dominate brain functioning. Four core factors—reduced schedules of brain activity, noisy processing, weakened neuromodulatory control, and negative learning—interact to create a self-reinforcing downward spiral of degraded brain function in older adults. This downward spiral might begin from reduced brain activity due to behavioral change, from a loss in brain function driven by aging brain machinery, or more likely from both. In aggregate, these interrelated factors promote plastic changes in the brain that result in age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint on the root causes of functional decline immediately suggests a remedial approach. Studies of adult brain plasticity have shown that substantial improvement in function and/or recovery from losses in sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect should be possible, using appropriately designed behavioral training paradigms. Driving brain plasticity with positive outcomes requires engaging older adults in demanding sensory, cognitive, and motor activities on an intensive basis, in a behavioral context designed to re-engage and strengthen the neuromodulatory systems that control learning in adults, with the goal of increasing the fidelity, reliability, and power of cortical representations. Such a training program would serve a substantial unmet need in aging adults. Current treatments directed at age-related functional losses are limited in important ways. Pharmacological therapies can target only a limited number of the many changes believed to underlie functional decline. Behavioral approaches focus on teaching specific strategies to aid higher order cognitive functions, and do not usually aspire to fundamentally change brain function. A brain-plasticity-based training program would potentially be applicable to all aging adults with the promise of improving their operational capabilities. We have constructed such a brain-plasticity-based training program and conducted an initial randomized controlled pilot study to evaluate the feasibility of its use by older adults. A main objective of this initial study was to estimate the effect size on standardized neuropsychological measures of memory. We found that older adults could learn the training program quickly, and could use it entirely unsupervised for the majority of the time required. Pre- and posttesting documented a significant improvement in memory within the training group (effect size 0.41, p<0.0005), with no significant within-group changes in a time-matched computer using active control group, or in a no-contact control group. Thus, a brain-plasticity-based intervention targeting normal age-related cognitive decline may potentially offer benefit to a broad population of older adults.
Prog Brain Res. 2006;157:81-109
Enhancement of synaptic plasticity through chronically reduced Ca2+ flux during uncorrelated activity.
The plasticity of synapses within neural circuits is regulated by activity, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Using the dye FM1-43 to directly image presynaptic function, we found that large numbers of presynaptic terminals in hippocampal cultures have a low release probability. While these terminals were not readily modifiable, a transient but not permanent long-term reduction of network activity or Ca2+ influx could increase their modifiability. This modulation of plasticity was mediated by Ca2+ flux through NMDA and voltage-gated calcium channels and was lost within 48 hr. A more permanent enhancement of synaptic plasticity was achieved by selectively reducing the Ca2+ flux associated with uncorrelated activity via adjustment of the voltage-dependent Mg2+ block of the NMDAR. Upregulation of NR2B-containing NMDARs induced by this treatment is an important but not sole contributor to the enhancement of plasticity. Thus, quantity and quality of activity have differential effects on the intrinsic plasticity of neurons.
Neuron. 2004 Dec 2;44(5):835-49
By suppressing the expression of anterior pharynx-defective-1a and -1b and inhibiting the aggregation of b-amyloid protein, magnesium ions inhibit the cognitive decline of amyloid precursor protein/presenilin 1 transgenic mice.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is associated with a magnesium ion (Mg(2+)) deficit in the serum or brain. However, the mechanisms regulating the roles of Mg(2+) in the pathologic condition of AD remain unknown. We studied whether brain Mg(2+) can decrease b-amyloid (Ab) deposition and ameliorate the cognitive decline in a model of AD, the APPswe/PS1DE9 transgenic (Tg) mouse. We used a recently developed compound, magnesium-L-threonate (MgT), for a treatment that resulted in enhanced clearance of Ab in an anterior pharynx-defective (APH)-1a/-1b-dependent manner. To further explore how MgT treatment inhibits cognitive decline in APP/PS1 Tg mice, the critical molecules for amyloid precursor protein (APP) cleavage and signaling pathways were investigated. In neurons, ERK1/2 and PPARg signaling pathways were activated by MgT treatment, which in turn suppressed (by >80%) the expression of APH-1a/-1b, which is responsible for the deposition of Ab and potentially contributes to the memory deficit that occurs in AD. More important, Ab oligomers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) further promoted the expression of APH-1a/-1b (by >2.5-fold), which enhances the g-cleavage of APP and Ab deposition during AD progression. These findings provide new insights into the mechanisms of AD progression and are instrumental for developing better strategies to combat the disease.
FASEB J. 2015 Dec;29(12):5044-58
Magnesium in prevention and therapy.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. It has been recognized as a cofactor for more than 300 enzymatic reactions, where it is crucial for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) metabolism. Magnesium is required for DNA and RNA synthesis, reproduction, and protein synthesis. Moreover, magnesium is essential for the regulation of muscular contraction, blood pressure, insulin metabolism, cardiac excitability, vasomotor tone, nerve transmission and neuromuscular conduction. Imbalances in magnesium status-primarily hypomagnesemia as it is seen more common than hypermagnesemia-might result in unwanted neuromuscular, cardiac or nervous disorders. Based on magnesium’s many functions within the human body, it plays an important role in prevention and treatment of many diseases. Low levels of magnesium have been associated with a number of chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disease (e.g., stroke), migraine headaches, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Nutrients. 2015 Sep 23;7(9):8199-226