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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)

About the Author:
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. Fascinated by the connections between genes, diet, and health, her goal is to help you understand how to apply genetics to your diet and lifestyle decisions. Debbie has a BS in engineering from Colorado School of Mines and an MSc in biological sciences from Clemson University. Debbie combines an engineering mindset with a biological systems approach to help you understand how genetic differences impact your optimal health.