Lithium therapy to treat Alzheimer’s disease is far from a new concept, but the variation in studies has prevented definitive progress. Additionally, multiple treatments of high doses of lithium cause serious side effects, rendering the approach impractical for extended treatments, especially in older people most affected by the disease. However, a recent Science Tech Daily article suggests lower doses of lithium may be the key to halting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
A team of scientists at McGill University showed that lithium doses 400 times lower than what is prescribed for mood disorders can actually halt signs of advanced Alzheimer’s pathology and recover compromised cognitive abilities. The key is administering the drug in a formulation that facilitates passage to the brain. With early success, the team hopes to launch clinical trials of the formulation soon.