News and Research: Microdose lithium formulation and Alzheimer’s prevention

Study Title: NP03, a Microdose Lithium Formulation, Blunts Early Amyloid Post-Plaque Neuropathology in McGill-R-Thy1-APP Alzheimer-Like Transgenic Rats  Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Oct. 2020

A new animal study looks at the effects of a “novel microdose lithium formulation” called NP03. The study used transgenic rats that were developed to have Alzheimer’s-like pathogenesis from amyloid plaque.

The NP03 lithium was administered in a low dose for 12 weeks at the point when the animals develop amyloid-beta placque.  The results showed: “we find that NP03 rescues functional deficits in object recognition, reduces loss of cholinergic boutons in the hippocampus, reduces levels of soluble and insoluble cortical Aβ42 and reduces hippocampal Aβ plaque number.”

Why is this important?
There are lots of animal studies that show various substances could ‘cure’ Alzheimer’s, but human trials are usually very disappointing. With lithium, though, there are a number of epidemiological studies showing that people who drink water that has a higher lithium content are less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease. So it is exciting to see animal models investigate the mechanisms through which lithium could affect Alzheimer’s pathology.
(Read more about lithium and Alzheimer’s disease prevention)

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.