Home Blog Magnesium Supplements in the Treatment of Depression - Mechanisms of Function

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Magnesium Supplements in the Treatment of Depression - Mechanisms of Function E-mail

 

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The goal of this website is to give support to people who are feeling depressed and unhappy with their lives. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world.

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Magnesium and depression

Magnesium ions play a crucial role in the signaling of the nerve cells in the brain. According to several studies magnesium deficiency might have a role in the development of depression. According to these studies, magnesium in the cerebral spinal fluid tends to be low in patients that have attempted suicide and in patients who are suffering of treatment-resistant suicidal depression. Recent brain imaging studies have revealed low magnesium levels in some patients who are suffering of treatment-resistant depression. These results are, however, not fully confirmed as there are also many cases in which blood and cerebral spinal fluid magnesium do not appear to correlate well with major depression.

Depression is a condition that appears to have not only one but several possible causes and the previous findings regarding magnesium deficiency in some patients are very helpful for people who suffer of the type of depression that is related to magnesium deficiency. Many patients have reported experiencing relief and reduction in the level of their anxiety after taking magnesium supplements.

The role of magnesium in neuronal signaling

Magnesium is binding to NMDA receptors in the brain, preventing natrium ions from binding to these same receptors. When magnesium binds to NMDA receptor it is preventing the activation of the receptor. The exact mechanism of the positive effect of magnesium supplements in treatment of depression and anxiety disorders is not known, but it is believed that the decrease in the activity of the NMDA receptors helps the brain to relax and hence relieves anxious and depressing feeling.

The connection between magnesium, depression and Restless Legs Syndrome

According to several studies, it appears that a neurological disorder referred to as Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is often related to occurrence of depression. Restless Legs Syndrome refers to a condition in which an individual must constantly change the position of the legs in order to decrease an uncomfortable feeling in them. The uncomfortable feeling is often described by the patients as a sensation of pressure, tingling, burning or pain. The sensations occur most often during drowsiness and while sitting or laying down, and they disappear as soon as one stands up and walks around.

Some external factors such as caffeine, alcohol and lack of sleep appear to aggravate the condition. Many patients also report that the uncomfortable physical sensations become considerably worse during evening and night-time. Often these disturbing sensations prevent one from getting a decent amount of sleep (sometimes even leading to severe insomnia), resulting in one being tired the following day, which further aggravates the symptoms.

Many patients (but not all) report finding a relief while taking magnesium supplements before going to sleep or when the symptoms occur. This suggests that these patients are suffering of magnesium deficiency that may be partially responsible of the disturbing sensations. Many people who suffer of mild or moderate depression or anxiety also report that they feel more relaxed after taking magnesium. It is possible that in both of these medical conditions the physiological magnesium levels of the patients are lower than usually, and hence these people will benefit from taking magnesium supplements. (Obs! it is very important to always consult one's physician before starting to take larger amounts of any types of nutritional supplements).

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To read more, please see sections Depression - General and Depression - Science.

 

 

 
Comments (2)
  • Anonymous  - Magnesium
    Magnesium has helped me.
  • Rolland  - ......
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