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The possible relationship between keratoconus and magnesium deficiency

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The cause of keratoconus is unknown. However, an earlier report demonstrated magnesium deficiency in keratoconus patients, and suggested that magnesium deficiency could pathologically affect the mechanisms of the cornea. Experimental and clinical papers concerning a possible relationship between keratoconus and magnesium deficiency were reviewed. These studies have demonstrated molecular and cellular alterations specific to the keratoconic cornea, including: thinning and fragmentation of membranes, degenerated cells and collagen fibres, swelling of the mitochondria, and biochemical abnormalities in protein synthesis. Similar alterations have reportedly been induced by magnesium deficiency. This review suggests a possible relationship between the specific keratoconic disorders and the alteration induced by magnesium deficiency at the intracellular and extracellular levels. Although the etiology of keratoconus is still unknown, this paper may give some new ideas for further experimental and clinical studies on the etiology of keratoconus.
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Keywords: cornea; genetic; keratoconus; magnesium

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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