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Home > Health Conditions > Schizophrenia > Antidepressants & Psychotropics > Lithium


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  • Lithium as a Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease: The Systems Pharmacology Perspective - J Alzheimers Dis. 2019;69(3):615-62 - "Lithium chloride, a pharmacological compound approved for the therapy of psychiatric disorders, represents a poorly explored compound for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Lithium has been shown to reduce downstream effects associated with the aberrant overactivation of certain molecular pathways, such as glycogen synthase kinase 3 subunit β (GSK3-β)-related pathways, involved in AD-related pathophysiology. It seems that overactivation and overexpression of GSK3-β lead to an impairment of long-term potentiation and amyloid-β induced neurotoxicity that can be normalized using lithium. Moreover, a growing body of evidence has demonstrated that lithium's GSK3-β inhibitory effect prevents tau phosphorylation in mouse models of tauopathies. Clinical data have been inconclusive, partly due to methodological limitations. The lack of studies exploring the dynamics of protein misfolding in AD and investigating the specific tau-isoforms appearing prior to the accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles calls for new and optimized clinical trials. Advanced computer modeling based on a formal implementation of quantitative parameters and basic enzymatic insights into a mechanism-based model would present a good start to tackle these non-linear interactions. This innovative approach will pave the way for developing "molecularly" biomarker-guided targeted therapies, i.e., treatments specifically adapted ("tailored") to the individual, consistently with the primary objectives and key conceptual points of precision medicine and precision pharmacology" - See lithium supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Leukocyte telomere length positively correlates with duration of lithium treatment in bipolar disorder patients - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 Apr 12 - "Our data support previous findings showing that long-term lithium treatment associates with longer telomeres in BD, though this effect appeared to be independent from clinical response to the treatment. Moreover, we suggested for the first time that lithium increases the expression of telomerase gene in human neural progenitor cells"
  • Does Lithium Prevent Alzheimer's Disease? - Drugs Aging. 2012 Apr 14 - "Lithium salts have a well-established role in the treatment of major affective disorders. More recently, experimental and clinical studies have provided evidence that lithium may also exert neuroprotective effects. In animal and cell culture models, lithium has been shown to increase neuronal viability through a combination of mechanisms that includes the inhibition of apoptosis, regulation of autophagy, increased mitochondrial function, and synthesis of neurotrophic factors. In humans, lithium treatment has been associated with humoral and structural evidence of neuroprotection, such as increased expression of anti-apoptotic genes, inhibition of cellular oxidative stress, synthesis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cortical thickening, increased grey matter density, and hippocampal enlargement ... A recent placebo-controlled clinical trial in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) showed that long-term lithium treatment may actually slow the progression of cognitive and functional deficits, and also attenuate Tau hyperphosphorylation in the MCI-AD continuum"
  • A Comparison of Lithium and T3 Augmentation Following Two Failed Medication Treatments for Depression: A STAR*D Report - Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;163(9):1519-30 - "After a mean of 9.6 weeks (SD=5.2) of treatment, remission rates were 15.9% with lithium augmentation and 24.7% with T(3) augmentation" - See T3 at International Anti-aging Systems.