Navigation path

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece


This page was published on 10/05/2011
Published: 10/05/2011

   Infocentre

Published: 10 May 2011  
Related category(ies):
Health & life sciences  |  Research policy

 

Add to PDF "basket"

Researchers reveal gene and magnesium deficiency link

Scientists in Europe, led by Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany, have found a link between genes and magnesium deficiency. Presented in the journal American Journal of Human Genetics, the study could lead to the development of new treatments for genetically triggered magnesium deficiencies. The research was funded in part by the EUNEFRON ('European network for the study of orphan nephropathies') project, which has clinched almost EUR 3 million under the Health Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to probe the natural history and pathophysiology of rare inherited diseases affecting key structures of the kidney.

Fatigue is a symptom of magnesium deficiency © Shutterstock
Fatigue is a symptom of magnesium deficiency
©  Shutterstock

The researchers discovered changes in a gene that helps regulate magnesium processes. Someone who suffers from a magnesium deficiency will inform their doctor that they feel very tired and that their muscles are very weak. Heart rhythm disturbances and severe seizures may also be reported. Patients diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes may be deficient as well.

How important is magnesium? Experts say our bodies need it as it contributes to enzyme and muscular function and neuronal transmission. The normal serum magnesium concentration ranges from 0.7 to 1.2 mmol/l in adults, and low levels of serum magnesium may go unnoticed because the symptoms fail to show for quite some time.

Experts generally implicate diet and nutrition in cases of magnesium deficiency. But this latest study sheds new light on how changes in the Cnnm2 gene trigger changes in the human blueprint, and in turn in the structure and function of protein sequencing.

According to the team, the change impacts a protein that is anchored in the membrane of both kidney and intestinal cells, and brings about the absorption of magnesium in the blood stream. Because this process stops working in the defective protein, the blood stream fails to absorb the magnesium, which is excreted through the intestine and urine, and therefore lost.

'Our results provide us with a number of new insights into magnesium metabolism in the body,' explains Dr Dominik Müller from the Department of Pediatric Nephrology at Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin. 'In the end, following further research and development, we see the possibility to deal with such deficiencies medicinally.'

Researchers from the Université Catholique de Louvain Medical School in Belgium, the Institute of Physiology and Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, the Department of Pediatrics, Pardubice Regional Hospital in the Czech Republic and University Medical Centre Utrecht and Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands contributed to this study.


Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
American Journal of Human Genetics





  Top   Research Information Center
 
Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece