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BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010 Feb 17;11:35. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-11-35.

Effects of plasma magnesium and prolactin on quantitative ultrasound measurements of heel bone among schizophrenic patients.

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Community Medicine Research Center, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.



Osteoporosis is a bone disease that can reduce both bone mass and bone strength. It can cause serious fractures of bones, along with causing significant and even devastating physical, psychological and financial consequences for patients and their family members. Many reports have revealed that the prevalence of decreased bone density is higher in schizophrenic patients than in the non-psychological diseased population. The previous report of our group revealed that chronic schizophrenia patients have poorer BUA levels since they were young as compared to the general community population. Hyperprolactinemia and antipsychotics are reported to be among the risk factors for osteoporosis in chronic schizophrenic patients.


93 schizophrenic patients with severely poor adjusted BUA values and 93 age and gender matched patients with normal adjusted BUA values from a previous survey study were selected. Data were collected via questionnaires and via reviews of antipsychotic medications. Blood samples were drawn, and serum levels of prolactin, estradiol, testosterone, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, osteocalcin, Cross-linked N-teleopeptide of type I collagen (NTX), thyroid hormone and parathyroid hormone were checked. The association between BUA levels and serum levels of the above items, along with the type of received antipsychotic medication, was evaluated.


There was no significant association found between reduced BUA levels and serum prolactin, calcium, phosphate, osteocalcin, NTX, thyroid stimulating hormone and parathyroid hormone levels. There was also no association between BUA levels and types of currently received antipsychotics. There was no association between BUA levels and menstruation condition in female patients. Hypermagnesemia had a borderline association with classical and combined (classical and atypical) antipsychotic medications in male patients. Nevertheless, hypermagnesemia is a significant protective factor of reduced BUA levels in female patients. Hyperprolactinemia had a significant association with classical and combined antipsychotic medications in female patients. Hyperprolactinemia, however, provides a protective effect on reduced BUA levels in male patients. There was no significant association found between serum prolactin level and the type of antipsychotic medication received.


The results of this study are in contrast with literature that has reported an association between bone mass and serum prolactin levels, serum magnesium levels and type of received antipsychotics. Further study to investigate the pathophysiological process and the association between bone mass and serum prolactin level, serum magnesium level and specific antipsychotics is necessary.

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