Study shows lithium may slow memory loss


April 28, 2011

A new study conducted in Brazil has shown that using the drug lithium may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers evaluated 41 people who were all diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) over a 12-month period and discovered that those who were treated with the medication retained more concentration and memory function than their peers. 

"We know lithium has effects on the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease in the lab but to date, clinical trials in people with Alzheimer's have not been promising," The UK-based Alzheimer's Society said. "This study is the first to test lithium in people who have mild cognitive impairment, which can lead to Alzheimer's. These results are interesting as they suggest lithium could help slow the development of the early stages of the disease."

Families who are currently trying to limit the effects of Alzheimer's disease may want to consider installing a personal emergency response system. This device can allow seniors to instantly send a medical alert if they require assistance.

The Alzheimer's Association estimates that there are 5.4 million Americans currently suffering from the condition and almost 15 million unpaid caregivers tending to their needs.