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Microdose Lithium Treatment Stabilized Cognitive Impairment in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

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A lower incidence of dementia in bipolar patients treated with lithium has been described. This metal inhibits the phosphorylation of glycogen-synthase-kinase 3-α and β, which are related to amyloid precursor protein processing and tau hyperphosphorylation in pathological conditions, respectively. Following the same rationale, a group just found that lithium has disease-modifying properties in amnestic mild cognitive impairment with potential clinical implications for the prevention of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) when a dose ranging from 150 to 600 mg is used. As lithium is highly toxic in regular doses, our group evaluated the effect of a microdose of 300μg, administered once daily on AD patients for 15 months. In the evaluation phase, the treated group showed no decreased performance in the mini-mental state examination test, in opposition to the lower scores observed for the control group during the treatment, with significant differences starting three months after the beginning of the treatment, and increasing progressively. This data suggests the efficacy of a microdose lithium treatment in preventing cognitive loss, reinforcing its therapeutic potential to treat AD using very low doses.
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Keywords: Alzheimer; GSK-3; Tau; aging; lithium; memory; putative neuroprotective

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2013

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  • Current Alzheimer Research publishes peer-reviewed frontier review and research articles on all areas of Alzheimer's disease. This multidisciplinary journal will help in understanding the neurobiology, genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment strategies of Alzheimer's disease. The journal publishes objective reviews written by experts and leaders actively engaged in research using cellular, molecular, and animal models. The journal also covers original articles on recent research in fast emerging areas of molecular diagnostics, brain imaging, drug development and discovery, and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease. Manuscripts are encouraged that relate to the synergistic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease with other dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. Book reviews, meeting reports and letters-to-the-editor are also published. The journal is essential reading for researchers, educators and physicians with interest in age-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer Research provides a comprehensive 'bird's-eye view' of the current state of Alzheimer's research for neuroscientists, clinicians, health science planners, granting, caregivers and families of this devastating disease.
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