We all know magnesium has been shown to decrease migraine symptoms in general, but often we forget that different types of magnesium are helpful for different areas. Magnesium Threonate is supposed to be the best for neurological issues, particularly because it has a high absorption rate and can penetrate the blood-brain barrier. This particular study found it's helpful with memory decline, Alzheimer's disease, and enhanced learning in young rats. You’ll often see some kind of “neuro” or “cogni” in the name based on the research that supports its ability to help with cognitive and neurological functions. Learn how this supplement helps with brain fog associated with migraine.
Vestibular Migraine and Memory Impairment/Brain Fog
One of the ways vestibular migraine hit me hardest was with cognitive function. Before my symptoms began I had a quick wit and often managed the work of multiple people at my job. I say that not to be dramatic, but because literally someone was pregnant on my team at any given time. At one point, everyone on my team was pregnant but me! Needless to say, there were a lot of maternity leaves to be covered that year.
When the chronic illness began, I couldn’t even think of small words like “dinner” without having to pause and think incredibly hard. I’d be having a conversation and would get hung up on what I was trying to say, racking my foggy brain for basic words. Often I wonder if the anxiety I felt from this exacerbated my symptoms. I felt stupid. There were also points where I had some short term memory loss and would misplace things regularly or forget conversations. These are all symptoms of migraine and some vestibular disorders, specifically vestibular migraine.
Good magnesium threonate is expensive, but I wanted to see if this supplement is truly worth the price, or if you can get good results with Magnesium Glycinate alone. Plus I’ve been getting more and more emails from readers quoting “brain fog” as one of their most annoying symptoms and this seemed to be the one option that not many of us have tried. So I recruited Jennifer Bragdon to help me out and we both tested Pure Encapsulations CogniMag by taking 2 pills each day. Both of us saw results within a few short weeks, but we wondered if it was just a placebo effect, so we kept with it for about 2 months.
Here are our reviews:
“CogniMag is my new coffee. ” - Alicia’s Review
It was about 2 weeks in when I was heading to Arizona for our annual family trip. Of course my husband and his siblings are all about that caffeine life, having a few cups of coffee a day. In fact just sniffing the coffee his sister brews is enough to have every hair on your head dancing around! Me? I’m stuck with my 99.9% caffeine free Swiss Water Processed coffee no matter how tired I’m feeling. I noticed fairly quickly after I would take my Magnesium Threonate in the morning that I had more energy and mental clarity. This was even on mornings I was really struggling with the time and sleep schedule changes. As time continued, I noticed this was a common occurrence.
I continued taking 1 pill in the morning with my 2 magnesium glycinate, and 1 pill in the evening with my remaining magnesium glycinate. My sleep didn’t feel as light as normal, and I got through the night without waking up as often as I typically do. When I woke up, I felt more rested. But the biggest difference for me was with that morning brain fog. It was so nice to be able to have that extra kick of alertness without having to go work out or suffer through a few hours of the floaty headed feeling. Not only that, but I felt like my posts were a little easier to write. It was as if my brain was functioning on a higher, faster level. To me, the cost was definitely worth it and I was SHOCKED that I felt that way. I plan to continue taking magnesium threonate in addition to my other supplements.
“At the very first dose of CogniMag, my pain went away. ” - Jennifer’s Review
If you belong to the Facebook group Migraine Strong, the one thing you know for sure is that I love magnesium. Love, love, love it! When my doctor suggested I try it back when I was still drowning in symptoms, I tried MANY and I mean MANY drugstore brands. When I finally found Pure Encapsulations magnesium glycinate, I noticed the difference immediately. It was so calming it was like a big, hard hug. Here is a little 411 on Pure Encapsulations. It is a high quality supplement brand that is mostly sold through medical providers. They use the purest ingredients and do not use coatings, binders, shellacs, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners or colors, fragrance or excipients that would affect the bioavailability of ingredients. They also omit wheat, gluten, nuts, egg, preservatives, hydrogenated oils and magnesium stearate. Pure Encapsulations is manufactured in Massachusetts in a state-of-the-art facility with temperature, humidity and dust-controlled rooms and sterilization practices. The facility has an open door policy for any physician who would like to visit. They test ingredients and final products for potency and things like mercury as well as other contaminants or undesirable features. So when Alicia asked me to trial Pure Encapsulations CogniMag with her, I was all in.
CogniMag is different than other forms of magnesium because it contains magnesium threonate, one of the most aggressively studied forms of magnesium. It is a patented product called Magteinä, developed by researchers at MIT including a Nobel Prize winner. Research shows magnesium to be a critical player in the activation of nerve channels that are involved in synaptic plasticity. That means that magnesium is critical for the physiological events that are fundamental to the processes of learning, memory, cognitive function and for healthy mitochondria. Magnesium threonate’s claim to fame is that it’s highly absorbable & has the unique ability to permeate the brain and enhance the receptors that are involved in this process. It is said to be the only form of magnesium that crosses the blood brain barrier and significantly increase the levels of magnesium within the brain. So with all of that in mind, I was really excited to give CogniMag a try. Also it also contains what Pure Encapsulations calls a “PhytoMemory proprietary blend” which is wild blueberry, strawberry and spinach extract. Bring on the phyto-nutrients!
Honestly, I feel like I went in to this trial with a little side eye. I love my magnesium glycinate and I was pretty sure nothing would top it, but I have to say, there is something different about this magnesium. Overall I just feel a little bit clearer with a little less brain fog. I used to have very low level head pain pretty much at the end of each day. After the very first dose of CogniMag, my pain went away. For the first couple of weeks I literally thought this stuff was a miracle! I had no pain days…at all…none! But then my typical Menstrual Migraine kicked in bringing me 4 solid days of pain and I realized it’s not a miracle, but it is pretty darn great. It did give me relief during the remainder of the month. Other than my Menstrual Migraine pain days, I’ve had just one pain day since beginning CogniMag around July 4th. Needless to say, I give it two strong thumbs up.
CogniMag won’t replace my current magnesium glycinate, which I feel strongly helps calm my vestibular symptoms, but I will continue to use it alongside my current magnesium. The only drawback that I can see to giving this one a try is the price point. It is what I consider to be a very expensive supplement at $63 for 120 capsules. So if you take two a day, it will last you two months. I keep reminding myself that old saying…you get what you pay for. Because of the high quality of ingredients used in Pure Encapsulations products, I notice that I require much less than the recommended dose for those with Migraine (800mg per day). I spend less money in the long run by leaving inferior products behind.
If you give CogniMag a try, let us know how it goes!
Less Expensive CogniMag Alternatives
Updated 12/28/18: Several readers have emailed me to update me on their favorite brands that are a little less expensive than CogniMag. If you find this particular brand too expensive, give these guys a try!
"I wanted to drop you a line to say that adding magnesium threonate has been a major game changer. It clears up the heavy head feeling I have when I wake up. The change has been remarkable" - Aimee
"I started taking the Magnesium Threonate close to 2 months ago. When I had to increase my dosage of Nortriptyline to 50 mg I noticed I was fuzzy headed all the time. I added the Magnesium Threonate and I am in pretty good shape now and I have had to increase my dosage of the Nortp to 75 mg to boot. It has made a big difference. But basically after I read page on supplements I now take both Magnesium's, B2, CoQ10 and Ginger everyday. The whole package works well...For me I have had to find alternative brands because the Pure Encap are too expensive." - Nancy
Please note that although we had great results with CogniMag, we are not saying it was the cure for our Vestibular Migraine or dizziness. It simply helped with common Vestibular Migraine symptoms like cognitive issues, brain fog, or memory impairment. I did not replace any of my medications or supplements with CogniMag and still follow this plan.
We have no affiliation with the Pure Encapsulations brand and did not get paid to review these. However, these links are affiliate links which means if you directly purchase a CogniMag, I will get a small percentage of profit from Amazon. Because I want you to know that we're not just pushing this product for financial gain, the initial proceeds were donated in my family's name to the Vestibular Disorder Association for Balance Awareness Week.