Microdose lithium treatment stabilized cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer?s disease.

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Curr Alzheimer Res. 2012 Jun 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Microdose lithium treatment stabilized cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer?s disease.

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Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculdade de Ciencias Medicas da Santa Casa de Sao Paulo. R. Dr. Cesario Motta Jr, 61, CEP: 01221-020, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil. hudson.buck@fcmscsp.edu.br.

Abstract

A lower incidence of dementia in bipolar patients treated with lithium has been described. This metal inhibits the phosphorylation of glycogen-synthase-kinase 3-? and ?, 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 18 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 six 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.