Presented by Sophie Cherfane, Nafisa Hasna, Waliya Rahman, Alexis Ramirez Lopez, Syed Shamsi, and Christina Suoto
Peripheral nerve injuries are prevalent worldwide but especially in the United States. From causing a loss of sensation to limited motor activity and to even prolonged disabilities, these injuries can lead to a slow and painful recovery process. When a nerve injury occurs, the proximal and distal ends of the axon in the nerve take time to grow back together. In recent years, different nerve conduits such as magnesium have been researched to promote nerve regeneration and decrease recovery time. Magnesium is one of the most essential nutrients in the human body. It plays a vital role in nerve regeneration and functional recovery by reducing the inflammation and causing Schwann cell proliferation at the injury site, which increases axonal recovery. However, there has been a lack of long-term studies on the effects of magnesium supplementation on motor recovery following a peripheral nerve injury. Here, we show that a magnesium supplemented diet implemented as a prophylactic and therapeutic treatment does not play a statistically significant role in motor function and nerve regeneration after an injury is inflicted. Our findings also indicate that the nerve crush injury is effective in causing limited motor function due to the observed dragging of the T3 pair of legs in the flies, portraying that the nerve was severed successfully. We strive for our study to help set the foundation for new and innovative measures in preventative medicine. For example, it may allow for future studies to analyze different minerals that have the potential to be used as nerve conduits following a peripheral nerve injury. Moreover, this study demonstrates the necessity of further exploring the mechanistic interactions between magnesium and its association with motor function and nerve regeneration.
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Supplemental Video 1: Negative Geotaxis Assay
Supplemental Video 2: Leg drag followed nerve-crush injury