Research conducted by Sao Paulo University in Brazil has identified that the use of lithium could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Lithium has been routinely prescribed for the treatment of depression and bipolar disease however this research suggests that it is also able to halt the progress of dementia.
The study included 41 people over the age of 60, all suffering from mild cogitative impairment, which often leads to Alzheimer’s. Half of the patients were given 150mg of lithium daily for a year and the other half was given a placebo. The results showed that although all participants experienced a decline in their memory, this was much smaller in the group who were taking the daily dosage of lithium. The findings from the study are published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
The trial, which is a relatively small sample size, shows increasing evidence of the beneficial effects that lithium can have on the brain in terms of reducing memory loss. Future larger clinical trials are required to test drugs like lithium to identify better treatments for people living with Alzheimer’s.