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Chapter 9 Magnesium in edema and blood-brain barrier disruption
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is constituted primarily of brain capillary endothelial cells and is a pre-requisite for the maintenance of brain homeostasis that is essential for optimal brain function. However, a variety of pathological conditions, such as sepsis, multiple sclerosis and epilepsia disrupt the BBB integrity and lead to the development of brain edema. Ionized magnesium (Mg2+) is a crucial cofactor that plays an essential role within the cell and regulates a variety of biochemical reactions. Changes in intra- and extracellular Mg2+ concentrations influence the functions of cells and tissues. A growing body of evidence suggests that Mg2+ plays a pivotal role in ameliorating BBB disruption via a number of mechanisms during certain neurological diseases. Systemic delivery of Mg2+ may constitute an alternative approach in the future, both to improve BBB integrity and to decrease brain edema in the course of a variety of diseases involving brain tissue.