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Br J Psychiatry. 2011 May;198(5):351-6. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.110.080044.

Disease-modifying properties of long-term lithium treatment for amnestic mild cognitive impairment: randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Neuroscience (LIM 27) Department and Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Rua Dr. Ovídio Pires de Campos 785, 05403-010 - São Paulo, SP, Brazil. forlenza@usp.br.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Two recent clinical studies support the feasibility of trials to evaluate the disease-modifying properties of lithium in Alzheimer's disease, although no benefits were obtained from short-term treatment.

AIMS:

To evaluate the effect of long-term lithium treatment on cognitive and biological outcomes in people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).

METHOD:

Forty-five participants with aMCI were randomised to receive lithium (0.25-0.5 mmol/l) (n = 24) or placebo (n = 21) in a 12-month, double-blind trial. Primary outcome measures were the modification of cognitive and functional test scores, and concentrations of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers (amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ(42)), total tau (T-tau), phosphorylated-tau) (P-tau).

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

NCT01055392.

RESULTS:

Lithium treatment was associated with a significant decrease in CSF concentrations of P-tau (P = 0.03) and better perform-ance on the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale and in attention tasks. Overall tolerability of lithium was good and the adherence rate was 91%.

CONCLUSIONS:

The present data support the notion that lithium has disease-modifying properties with potential clinical implications in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

PMID:
21525519
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.110.080044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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