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Lithium 'fights Parkinson's'

Lithium 'fights Parkinson's'
24th June 2011

Lithium supplements, taken by many using home care, may successfully combat the brain damage associated with Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests.

The aggregation of toxic proteins and cell loss associated with Parkinson's disease were prevented through the use of lithium in a mouse model of the condition, according to the study which was published online in the Journal of Neuroscience Research.

A team from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging is currently working toward initiating clinical studies of lithium in humans combined with typical Parkinson's disease drug therapy.

Professor Julie Andersen, of the centre, commented: "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."

Meanwhile, scientists at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil discovered that the development of mild cognitive impairment was slowed down by the prescription of lithium.

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