Can Magnesium Deficiency Contribute to Dementia?

Risa Groux, CN
 | Published: 
February 15, 2021

Dementia affects one’s ability to function socially, personally, and professionally. It is important to recognize that like many other conditions, dementia begins long before symptoms start. There is evidence that prevention strategies may reduce the risk by as much as 50%.


The role of magnesium levels in dementia was investigated over a 27 year period in a new study published in Nutrients. Magnesium is often cited as the nutrient people are most deficient in, and has been shown to have beneficial effects in multiple chronic conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. Since these conditions increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, magnesium may have a protective role.


The study included 12,040 participants who did not have dementia when they began study. Blood magnesium levels were measured in 1990 through 1992. Dementia status was determined by cognitive examinations of participants performed in the years 2011 to 2013, 2016 to 2017, and 2018 to 2019, as well as from interviews, dementia-related hospitalizations, and in death. Each patient’s cognitive function was assessed up to 5 times between 1990 and 1992 and between 2018 and 2019. 

The research team identified 2,519 cases of dementia over an average follow-up period of 24 years. As a result, the lower magnesium was associated with a 24% higher rate of incident dementia compared with those with higher levels of magnesium, even after adjusting for demographics, lifestyle, cardiovascular risk factors, and other micronutrients. No relationship was found between serum magnesium and cognitive decline.


In summary, low magnesium is associated with an increased risk of dementia, but it did not appear to impact rates of cognitive decline. However, it is important to note that cognitive performance at the second visit was poorer among participants with lower serum magnesium compared with those who had higher magnesium. 

Magnesium targets numerous pathways in the pathology of dementia. Other brain supportive nutrients to consider are Gingko biloba, curcumin, folate, vitamin B12, and fish oil. My RGN Magnesium is an excellent, highly absorbable and bioavailable form of this critical nutrient. 

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