The window of opportunity for administration of magnesium therapy following focal brain injury is 24 h but is task dependent in the rat

Michael R. Hoane, Timothy M. Barth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


The present study was conducted to establish the window of opportunity for the administration of a regimen of MgCl2 pharmacotherapy following focal injury to the brain. Rats were subjected to unilateral electrolytic lesions of the sensorimotor cortex (SMC) and administered a regimen of MgCl2 (1.0 mmol/kg) or 0.9% saline (1.0 ml/kg) beginning either 15 min, 8 h or 24 h after injury. Subsequent injections were administered 24 and 72 h after the initial treatment. Behavioral testing assessed recovery of function on several sensorimotor behaviors for 24 days following injury. The results of the present study suggest that treatment with a regimen of MgCl2 significantly facilitated recovery of function on the forelimb→forelimb and vibrissae→forelimb placing tests when administered 15 min, 8 h or 24 h after injury compared with saline-treated rats. Recovery of locomotor placing was significantly facilitated at 15 min and 8 h but not at 24 h compared with saline-treated rats. In addition, the ability of MgCl2 to limit neuronal loss in the ipsilateral ventral posterior lateral (VPL) nucleus of the thalamus was seen at only the 15-min treatment interval. These results suggest that the window of opportunity for MgCl2 pharmacotherapy is 24 h, task dependent and is much shorter for protecting neurons in the VPL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-280
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Brain injury
  • Cortex
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Rat
  • Recovery of function
  • Sensorimotor behavior
  • Window of opportunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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