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Can lithium stop dementia?

Amman Today

publish date 2022-03-20 09:32:16

A study has found that a mood-stabilizing medication given to patients with bipolar disorder may reduce the risk of dementia.

The supposed benefits of lithium were revealed by academics at the University of Cambridge who analyzed nearly 30,000 mental health patients. Only 9.7% of patients who were prescribed lithium developed dementia, compared to 11.2% among those who did not take it.

This is despite the fact that conditions such as bipolar disorder are closely linked to an increased risk of developing CBD.

Today, charities said it was “vital” that researchers follow up on the results urgently, with no drug proven to prevent dementia.

Several other scientific papers have identified lithium as a promising substance in the search for ways to combat amnesia.

Lithium is found naturally in vegetables and grains and in very low concentrations in water supplies.
At much higher levels, it is sometimes prescribed on the NHS as a treatment for a variety of mood disorders, such as mania, depression and bipolar.

The scientists examined the medical records of 29,618 over-50s who received mental health services in Cambridgeshire and the Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

None of the participants, who were followed for up to 14 years, had mild cognitive impairment or dementia at the start of the study.

He prescribed lithium to about 550 patients, allowing experts to compare whether the drug reduces the risk of dementia.

The study’s lead author, Dr Shanquan Chen, said the finding was unexpected, given that people with bipolar disorder were found to be at increased risk of developing dementia.

“It’s too early to say for sure, but it’s possible that lithium may reduce the risk of dementia in people with bipolar disorder,” he said.

But the study was only small, and larger trials are needed to piece together any link.

Dr Sarah Imarisio, from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “There is an urgent need for new treatments for dementia. When there is evidence that there is an existing, widely used, relatively safe and inexpensive drug that can help, it is essential that researchers follow up on this. As soon as possible”.

Some have suggested that lithium can inhibit enzymes responsible for making toxic proteins that build up in the brain from Alzheimer’s disease and cause brain cells to die.

It comes after a study of 800,000 people in Denmark in 2017 found that those who drank water high in the mineral were 17% less likely to develop dementia.

However, the results were not entirely clear as people in the middle exposure group were 22% more likely to develop dementia than the low exposure group.

Some experts said that when it comes to drinking water, other elements such as calcium can play a role.

Lithium should only be taken with a prescription because the dose is unique to each patient. Eating too much of it can cause potentially life-threatening problems in organs such as the kidneys.

#lithium #stop #dementia

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Source : اخبار الاردن

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