Intra-erythrocytes magnesium deficiency could reflect cognitive impairment status due to vascular disease: a pilot study

Clementina Sitzia, Michele Sterlicchio, Calogero Crapanzano, Elena Dozio, Elena Vianello, Massimiliano Marco Corsi Romanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Magnesium is a fundamental cation that regulates neuronal transmission, protein synthesis, energy metabolism. Magnesium deficiency mostly affects nervous and cardiovascular systems determining weakness, tremors, seizure and arrhythmias. This condition retains also a role in memory function and neuronal plasticity. Importantly magnesium deficiency could remain latent and asymptomatic resulting a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In this sense we aim to determine magnesium status in patient presenting cognitive impairment of vascular origin. Methods: 21 healthy subjects and 27 patients presenting vascular cognitive impairment were included in this study. Both plasma and intraerythrocitary magnesium level were measured to detect magnesium deficiency and cognitive performance was evaluated trough Mini Mental State Evaluation (MMSE). Results: Here we showed that patients presenting vascular cognitive impairment present intraerythrocitary magnesium level lower than age-matched healthy subjects. To note their plasma magnesium resulted within reference limit. Conclusion: We suggest that intracellular magnesium laboratory measurement is needed to detect occult magnesium deficiency in population at risk. Magnesium supplementation could represent an adjuvant for healthy aging in high risk population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number458
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Intra-erythrocytary measurement
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Vascular cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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