News and Research: Microdose lithium for COVID-19 and cellular senescence in astrocytes

Title: Microdose lithium reduces cellular senescence in human astrocytes – a potential pharmacotherapy for COVID-19? Journal on Aging, June 2020

Overview:
This research paper covers the recent research on low doses of lithium in Alzheimer’s patients. The paper delves into the groups research on how lithium may reduce some of the hallmarks of cellular senescence in astrocytes using a cell culture model. It piggy backs on previous research linking amyloid-beta deposition to cellular senescence in neurons, and that low dose lithium may be help to prevent Alzheimer’s.

The connection with COVID-19 is that in the research on preventing senescence, the researchers found that low dose lithium suppressed IL-6, which is elevated and a problem in severe COVID-19.  The connection to modulating IL-6 is interesting, as is the work on low-dose lithium and Alzheimer’s.

My thoughts:
Other papers covering lithium’s antiviral properties in reference to coronaviruses and COVID-19:

 

Note: I’m not recommending that anyone use lithium as a treatment for SARS-CoV-2. This is offered for informational purposes only.



Author Information:   Debbie Moon
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. She holds a Master of Science in Biological Sciences from Clemson University and an undergraduate degree in engineering from Colorado School of Mines. Debbie is a science communicator who is passionate about explaining evidence-based health information. Her goal with Genetic Lifehacks is to bridge the gap between the research hidden in scientific journals and everyone's ability to use that information. To contact Debbie, visit the contact page.