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Lithium Prevents Parkinson’s in Mouse Study

Lithium Prevents Parkinsons in Mouse StudyResearch suggests the drug lithium may be an effective therapy for neurodegenerative conditions.

In a new study, lithium prevented the accumulation of toxic proteins and cell loss associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in a mouse model of the condition.

Preclinical research is now under way to determine correct dosages for a drug that continues to be the gold standard for the treatment of bipolar disorder.

Researchers from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging are initiating a Phase IIa clinical studies of lithium in humans in conjunction with standard PD drug therapy. Their research appears in the online edition of the Journal of Neuroscience Research.

“This is the first time lithium has been tested in an animal model of PD,” said lead author Julie Andersen, Ph.D. “The fact that lithium’s safety profile in humans is well understood greatly reduces trial risk and lowers a significant hurdle to getting it into the clinic.”

According to Andersen, lithium has recently been suggested to be neuroprotective in relation to several neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and has been touted for its anti-aging properties in simple animals.

“We fed our mice levels of lithium that were at the low end of the therapeutic range,” said Andersen. “The possibility that lithium could be effective in PD patients at subclinical levels is exciting, because it would avoid many side effects associated at the higher dose range.”

Overuse of lithium has been linked to hyperthyroidism and kidney problems.

“This finding gives us an opportunity to explore lithium as a recognized therapeutic for PD, in doses that are safe and effective,” said Andersen.

Source: Buck Institute

Lithium Prevents Parkinson’s in Mouse Study

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Lithium Prevents Parkinson’s in Mouse Study. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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