Level of magnesium in patients with depression treated with lithium – pilotage research
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Independent Psychic Health Unit, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Chair and Department of Medical Chemistry, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2013;20(1):111–115
Depression is a major public health problem. Magnesium (Mg2+) is involved in many metabolic processes as an activator of over 300 different enzymes. For the last 60 years lithium (Li+) compounds have been used in psychiatry. Li+ salts are regarded as the first choice medicine in the treatment of affective disorders and are also applied as an adjuvant intensifying the therapy in drug-resistant depression patients.

The objective of the study was an analysis of the relationship between the levels of magnesium, lithium, and education and place of residence of patients hospitalized due to depression.

Material and Methods:
Patients with bipolar affective disorders undergoing lithium therapy during their stay in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical University in Lublin were examined. Patients were divided into three groups according to education level and were also analyzed according to place of residence.

In the group of patients in the study, a significantly lower level of magnesium was found (p=0.02) in blood plasma of patients with secondary education level, compared to those who had elementary education. There was also a significantly higher level of magnesium (p=0.01) in blood plasma of patients who lived in urban areas, compared to rural inhabitants. No statistically significant differences were noted between lithium level in plasma, and the patients’ place of residence (p=0.34).

Significantly higher plasma magnesium levels were observed among city than village inhabitants, there was also a relationship between type of education and magnesium level in blood plasma of the patients in the study. Further studies including larger groups of patients should be performed to enable a final conclusion.

Marta Makara-Studzińska   
Independent Psychic Health Unit, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
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