A recent Medscape article reported that “Head Injury Tied to Long-term Cognitive Decline, Dementia Risk”. A quarter of the 13,000 head injury victims in the study experienced long-term cognitive decline and a greater risk for dementia over the 20 years of follow up. One researcher said that the increased decline for those with head injury is equivalent to aging them by 4 years.
Head injury is known to be associated with short-term cognitive but research on the longer-term cognitive effects has been lacking. So, now we know. But the big question is what is medicine going to do about it. As with most studies it’s “just the facts” and no indication about how to prevent or even teat the problem.
I wrote about head injury and magnesium in The Magnesium Miracle (2017) and I think this information is important.
A second study noted an incredibly high frequency of even mild head injury in the US that is associated with steep cognitive decline with approximately 23 million US adults 40 years of age or older reporting a head injury with loss of consciousness.
Head Injury And Magnesium
From animal studies, we know that brain magnesium levels fall dramatically at the site of a head injury, as this mineral is depleted in a nonstop cascade of acute events.4
In sixty-six human subjects with acute blunt head trauma, the greater the degree of injury, the greater the calcium-ion-to-magnesium-ion ratio. More calcium than magnesium in brain neurons is never a good thing—excess calcium causes ceaseless neuron stimulation, leading to cell death.
Measuring magnesium ion levels in the blood after TBI can be of both diagnostic and prognostic value in treating brain injury.5 Studies of animal and human brain trauma victims indicate that higher magnesium levels are associated with a better recovery.6 Also, giving sufficient magnesium will create a better healing outcome. Intravenous magnesium sulfate significantly reduces brain edema following brain injury and is used without adverse effects to treat patients with severe TBI.7 This is crucial information to give your doctor if your child suffers a head injury or any family member is involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Ionized magnesium testing, used in research studies, makes the diagnosis of posttraumatic headaches much easier. Abnormalities in magnesium ion concentration and the calcium-ion-to-magnesium-ion ratio were found in children with posttraumatic headaches even though serum magnesium levels were normal.8 Obviously, studies using only the serum magnesium test would miss the diagnosis and doctors would fail to properly treat these patients.
Magnesium depletion created by a head injury is slow to reverse. According to neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock, magnesium takes thirty minutes to get into the spinal fluid, three hours to reach the cortical area directly under the skull, and a full four to six hours for sufficient amounts of magnesium to reach the deep brain tissues.9
You get the point, magnesium, especially in the form of ReMag, is important for anyone who has suffered a head injury, whether acute or chronic. Here’s what one of our customers recently related about her Completement Formulas keeping her from having any sequelae from a head injury.
“I missed a step and fell at a gas station – hit the cement on the right side of my forehead. A friend drove me to the ER as my bump was the size of a jumbo egg. The ER doctor did a scan. I had a hematoma and a concussion but no internal bleeding or fracture. 10 days later, my GP was amazed that the area was healed with no discoloration nor a black eye. She asked if I had a headache: No. Dizziness? No. Nausea? No. Fuzzy thinking? No. She concluded that I healed much better than her patients in their 20s and 30s. Their problems last longer, for weeks and months. That’s because I take ReMag, ReMyte and RnA ReSet Drops and bathe my brain in good fats from a Keto diet.”
Unfortunately magnesium is not introduced into modern trauma treatment because doctors never learned about it in medical school. However, if you or a family member has suffered at TBI please inform your doctor of the need for magnesium. Take them my book. And show them Chapter 5: “The CNS, Stroke, Brain Injury, Brain Surgery”. Or you can download the free eBook Magnesium In The Central Nervous System and print out Chapter 12: “The Role of Magnesium in Traumatic CNS Injury.”
4. Cernak I et al., “Characterization of plasma magnesium concentration and oxidative stress following graded traumatic brain injury in humans.” J Neurotrauma, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 53–68, 2000.
5. Memon ZI et al., “Predictive value of serum ionized but not total magnesium levels in head injuries.” Scand J Clin Lab Invest, vol. 55, no. 8, pp. 671–677, 1995.
6. Heath DL, Vink R, “Brain free magnesium concentration is predictive of motor outcome following traumatic axonal brain injury in rats.” Magnes Res, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 269–277, 1999.
7. Blaylock RL, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills. Health Press, Sante Fe, NM, 1997.
8. Marcus JC et al., “Serum ionized magnesium in post-traumatic headaches.” J Pediatr, vol. 139, no. 3, pp. 459–462, 2001.
9. Personal correspondence with Dr. Russell Blaylock.
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Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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