Eyes with primary open-angle glaucoma have lower levels of magnesium than those of eyes without the condition. Moreover, their condition appears to respond well to treatment with a magnesium-containing medication, according to Lusine Arutyunyan MD, Helmholtz Research Institute of Eye Diseases, Moscow, Russia.
Dr Arutyunyan presented results from a study in which she and her associates analysed scleral tissue and aqueous humour from eyes of patients with glaucoma and aqueous humour samples from cataract patients without glaucoma. The study showed that the levels of magnesium were considerably lower in all examined tissues and media from eyes with glaucoma than in eyes without the condition, she said.
That is, the mean magnesium concentration in scleral samples of eyes with initial/moderate POAG was 19.3 mg/l , while in eyes in the advanced stages of the disease it was 17.5 mg/l, she noted. That compares to a mean concentration of 177 mg/l in normal anterior sclera (p < 0.001), she said. Magnesium levels were also lower in aqueous samples from eyes with glaucoma, where the mean concentration was 5.9 mg/l in initial/moderate POAG and as low as 3.0 mg/l in eyes with advanced disease. That compared to a mean magnesium concentration of 6.7 mg/l in eyes without glaucoma.
Furthermore, in the 30 glaucomatous patients who received systemic magnesium- restoring treatment with the magnesium-containing agent, Magnerot (Wörwag Pharma), computer perimetry showed a significant increase of the total visual field (p < 0.05) and confocal scanning retina tomography showed an increase in the average thickness of the retinal nerve fibre layer. IOP also fell by an average of 3.0 mmHg, Dr Arutyunyan said.