Published: 2020-02-25

Serum magnesium levels in attention deficit hyperactive disorder in 6-17 years age group: a study in tertiary care center

Ajay Mohan Varahala, Ravi Gajula, Subba Rao K. V.


Background: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurobehavioral disorder of childhood and one of among the most prevalent chronic health conditions affecting school-age children. Magnesium is a crucial mineral and appropriate levels in the body are essential for normal cognitive function and mental health. Seventy-two to 96% of those diagnosed with ADHD have been found to be significantly deficient in magnesium. Studies have shown that in these patients, supplementation with magnesium improves attention and working memory and decreases anxiety, depression and emotional dysregulation. Objective of the study was to measure the serum levels of magnesium in children with attention deficit hyperactive disorder and to assess the relation between serum Magnesium levels and Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

Methods: The study was conducted at Niloufer Institute of Child Health, which is tertiary care referral hospital and a teaching institute, affiliated under the esteemed Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad. Ethical committee clearance was taken before conducting the study, 50 cases of ADHD are selected from the outpatient department of the Psychiatry clinic for children and adolescents. And 50 controls are also selected for this study. Serum magnesium levels are assessed in both groups.

Results: In ADHD group children with serum Magnesium level <1.5 meq/L are 24% whereas in control group it is 6%. When subgroups were analyzed, 25% of hyperactive ADHD group, 18.75% of inattentive ADHD group and 27.27% of combined ADHD group had serum magnesium levels of less than 1.5 meq/l.

Conclusions: The study suggest that there is deficiency of magnesium in ADHD children when compared to healthy controls. Further, the study also recommends that further research is needed to help to identify the etiology, impact, and possible therapeutic implications of magnesium status in ADHD.


Attention deficit hyperactive disorder, Children, Cognitive functions, Mental health, Serum magnesium levels

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