Magnesium dietary manipulation and recovery of function following controlled cortical damage in the rat

Michael R. Hoane, David R. Gilbert, Adrianne B. Barbre, Stacy A. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Previous research has shown that dietary magnesium (Mg2+) deficiency prior to injury worsens recovery of function and that systemic administration of Mg2+ pre or post-injury significantly improves functional recovery. The purpose of the present study was to determine if manipulations in dietary Mg2+ would alter functional recovery following unilateral cortical injuries. Two weeks prior to injury, rats were placed on a customized diet enriched with Mg2+, deficient in Mg 2+, or on a standard Mg2+ diet. Rats were then prepared with unilateral cortical contusion injuries (CCI) of the sensorimotor cortex. Two days following CCI, rats were tested on a battery of sensorimotor (vibrissae-forelimb placing and bilateral tactile adhesive removal tests), as well as the acquisition of reference memory in the Morris water maze. Serum analysis for Mg2+ prior to injury showed a diet-dependent modulation in levels. The Mg2+-enriched diet showed significantly higher levels of serum Mg2+ compared to the normal diet and the Mg 2+-deficient diet showed significantly lower levels compared to the Mg2+-normal diet. On the placing and tactile removal tests Mg 2+ deficiency significantly worsened recovery compared to the Mg 2+-enriched and Mg2+-normal diet conditions. There were no statistically significant differences between the Mg2+-normal and Mg2+-enriched diets on the sensorimotor tests. On the acquisition of reference memory there were no significant difference between diet conditions; however, the Mg2+-deficient diet showed a trend toward compared to the other diet conditions. The Mg2+-deficient diet resulted in a larger lesion cavity compared to the other diet conditions. These findings suggest that dietary Mg2+ modulates recovery of function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalMagnesium Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior
  • Diet
  • Magnesium
  • Neuroprotection
  • Recovery of function
  • Sensorimotor
  • TBI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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