My interests deal with the roles of magnesium in health and disease processes. Overall, our work focuses on why and how magnesium is critical for stabilization of the cardiovascular and neurological systems. We are exploring how magnesium ions control blood pressure, peripheral and cerebral blood flows, as well as cardiac contractility. To accomplish these tasks, whole animals, human subjects, tissues and cell cultures are utilized.
Our laboratory is addressing two of the most important issues in vascular biology: stroke mechanisms and atherogenesis. Our findings have already shown how magnesium-deficient states can result in atherogenesis, hypertension, strokes, and headaches. Our studies have led to the discovery of a new type of receptor on cerebral vascular and neuronal membranes. Recently, our work has led to the importance of sphingolipids and platelet-activating factor in vascular and neurological problems. Some of these findings point to new mechanisms in migraine headaches and strokes. Our work has led to the discovery and manufacture of brand-new magnesium-ion selective electrodes which can rapidly and accurately measure the ionic (physiological) concentrations of free magnesium ions in plasma, serum, whole blood and cerebral spinal fluid.
Nilank C. Shah, M.S., M.D., Research Associate
Gatha J. Shah, M.S. Pharm,. Research Associate
Reviewer for various journals and funding organizations