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Lithium 'could slow Alzheimer's progression'

Lithium 'could slow Alzheimer's progression'
3rd May 2011

Taking a lithium supplement could slow down the progress of Alzheimer's disease or stave it off altogether, research has indicated.

Scientists at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil investigated mild cognitive impairment patients over the age of 60, some of which were treated with lithium.

While all participants experienced a reduction in cognitive function, it was slower in the participants who received lithium than those who took a placebo.

Mild cognitive impairment is believed to lead to Alzheimer's, in some cases.

Dr Anne Corbett, research manager at the Alzheimer's Society, said: "These results are interesting as they suggest lithium could help slow the development of the early stages of the disease. However this is a small, preliminary trial and there are still concerns over the side effects caused by lithium."

Another potential Alzheimer's treatment has been identified in the form of a stick-on patch which is placed on the neck and assists blood flow to the brain.

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