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Lithium trial in Alzheimer's disease: a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter 10-week study
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2009 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, ISSN 0160-6689, E-ISSN 1555-2101, Vol. 70, no 6, 922-931 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: Lithium, a first-line drug for the treatment of bipolar depression, has recently been shown to regulate glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3), a kinase that is involved in the phosphorylation of the tau protein. Since hyperphosphorylation of tau is a core pathological feature in Alzheimer's disease, lithium-induced inhibition of GSK-3 activity may have therapeutic effects in Alzheimer's disease. In the current study, we tested the effect of short-term lithium treatment in patients with Alzheimer's disease. METHOD: A total of 71 patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (Mini-Mental State Examination score > or = 21 and < or = 26) were successfully randomly assigned to placebo (N = 38) or lithium treatment (N = 33) at 6 academic expert memory clinics. The 10-week treatment included a 6-week titration phase to reach the target serum level of lithium (0.5-0.8 mmol/L). The primary outcome measures were cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of phosphorylated tau (p-tau) and GSK-3 activity in lymphocytes. Secondary outcome measures were CSF concentration of total tau and beta-amyloid(1-42) (Abeta(1-42)), plasma levels of Abeta(1-42), Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS)-Cognitive summary scores, MMSE, and Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Patients were enrolled in the study from November 2004 to July 2005. RESULTS: No treatment effect on GSK-3 activity or CSF-based biomarker concentrations (P > .05) was observed. Lithium treatment did not lead to change in global cognitive performance as measured by the ADAS-Cog subscale (P = .11) or in depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The current results do not support the notion that lithium treatment may lead to reduced hyperphosphorylation of tau protein after a short 10-week treatment in the Alzheimer's disease target population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 70, no 6, 922-931 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-123155ISI: 000267502100019PubMedID: 19573486OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-123155DiVA: diva2:312517
Available from: 2010-04-26 Created: 2010-04-26 Last updated: 2010-10-12Bibliographically approved

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