Convulsions are characteristic of magnesium deficiency and hypocalcemia. In this study, weanling rats were fed magnesium deficient diets with varying concentrations of calcium and phosphorus. Diets were either normal (Mg =) or low (Mg-) in magnesium and were either low (Ca- or P-), normal (Ca = or P =) or high (Ca+ or P+) in calcium or phosphorus. After consuming the diets for 17 days, the rats were tested for audiogenic seizures and blood was then drawn for serum mineral analyses. Rats fed Mg-Ca = P =, Mg-Ca = P-, Mg-Ca+P = or Mg-Ca+P+ diets had high incidences of seizures. Those fed Mg-Ca-P =, Mg-Ca-P-, Mg-Ca = P+, Mg-Ca-P+ or Mg-Ca+P- diets had low incidences of seizures. In general, animals with low serum magnesium and calcium levels and high serum potassium levels were susceptible to audiogenic seizures. In this model, serum magnesium level is the most important determinant of seizure susceptibility, followed by calcium and potassium.

Chaistitwanich R, Mahoney AW, Hendricks DG, Sisson DV
Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1987 Jul;27(3):443-9
PMID: 3659067