Magnesium in stroke treatment.
Magnesium is involved in multiple physiological processes that may be relevant to cerebral ischaemia, including antagonism of glutamate release, NMDA receptor blockade, calcium channel antagonism, and maintenance of cerebral blood flow. Systemically administered magnesium at doses that double physiological serum concentration significantly reduces infarct volume in animal models of stroke, with a window of up to six hours after onset and favourable dose-response characteristics when compared with previously tested neuroprotective agents. Small clinical trials have reported benefit, but results are not statistically significant in systematic review. A large ongoing trial (IMAGES) will report in 2003-4 and further trials are planned.
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