Alzheimer’s Research UK Blood Magnesium Levels Linked With Dementia Risk

Published: Sep 20, 2017

Neurology: Serum magnesium is associated with the risk of dementia

Researchers in the Netherlands have found a link between levels of magnesium in the blood and the risk of developing dementia. Results from the study, published today (Wednesday 20 September) in the journal Neurology, indicate that both high and low levels of magnesium may be linked to an increased risk of dementia.

Dr Rosa Sancho, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK said:

“Magnesium is an essential nutrient that plays a role in a number of important biological processes, but research has presented a mixed picture in terms of how it might be related to dementia risk.

“Association studies like this one can be very useful for identifying factors that are linked with dementia risk, but they are not able to tell us about cause and effect. We can’t tell from this research whether magnesium levels contribute to dementia risk or if other factors might be involved.

“As the researchers only measured blood magnesium levels at one point in time, we don’t know whether changes in magnesium levels through life could have any influence on these findings. The authors point out that magnesium levels in this study are within the normal range, and this research didn’t investigate any relationship with unusually high or low levels. Future studies will need to build on these findings and explore any potential role for magnesium in diseases like Alzheimer’s.

“Most people should be able to maintain a healthy level of magnesium through a balanced diet but anyone with concerns should speak to their GP.”


For further information, or to speak with Dr Rosa Sancho, please contact Edward Pinches, Communications Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 0300 111 5 666, mobile or email

Notes to editors:

• ?Ref: Serum magnesium is associated with the risk of dementia by Kieboom et al is published on 20 September 2017 in the journal Neurology.

• ?Our animation “What is dementia?” explains the essentials of dementia and the diseases that cause it

• ?Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading charity specialising in finding preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia.

• ?To help us defeat dementia, donate today by visiting or calling 0300 111 5555.

• ?We are currently supporting dementia research projects worth over £27 million in leading Universities across the UK.

• ?Our Defeat Dementia campaign, a pledge to raise £100 million in five years to grow the research field and accelerate progress towards new treatments and preventions, was announced by David Cameron at the G8 legacy event on 19 June 2014. For more information visit

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