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Lithium chloride blunts brain damage linked to fetal alcohol syndrome -- ScienceDaily

Published in the journal Neuroscience online Nov. 26, and led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine, the new study found that giving the drug to newborn mice 15 minutes after "binge" alcohol consumption eliminated the hyperactivity and sleep deficits seen when rodents exposed to alcohol became adults. Moreover, the researchers report, lithium chloride-treated mice were much less likely to show the 25 percent drop in memory and cognitive test scores seen in untreated mice given the same amount of alcohol.

Trace elements of lithium in drinking water linked to longer life in Alzheimer's patients -- ScienceDaily

"We found counties that had above the median level of lithium in tap water (40 micrograms per litre) experienced less increases in Alzheimer's disease mortality over time, whereas counties below that median level had even higher increases in Alzheimer's deaths over time," says Fajardo. The frequency of obesity and Type 2 diabetes also went down when the drinking water contained similar lithium levels, the researchers found. Fajardo says he and his team focused on Texas because data on lithium levels were "freely available." Previous studies have demonstrated lithium's ability to protect against Alzheimer's disease, obesity and diabetes.

Bipolar disorder: New method predicts who will respond to lithium therapy -- ScienceDaily

Wondering whether the differences could be predictive, the team trained a computer program to recognize the variations between the profiles of responders and nonresponders using the firing patterns of 450 total neurons over six independent training rounds. In each round, they started fresh with the neurons of five of the patients to train the system. They then tested the system with the neurons of the sixth patient, whose lithium status was known to the team but not to the program. They repeated the process five more times, which allowed them to build essentially six independent models. Each model was trained on the data from five out of the six patients, leaving a different patient out of the training data each time, and then letting the model classify this remaining patient as a responder or nonresponder. Using the firing patterns of just five of any patient's neurons, the system identified the person as a responder or nonresponder with 92 percent accuracy.

Fruit flies live longer on lithium

The benefits of lithium were also seen when it was used as a transient and one-off treatment. Flies that received a one-off dose near the end of their lives lived a maximum of 13% longer and young flies given low doses of lithium chloride for 15 days before switching to a control for the remainder of their lives also lived longer. "We studied the responses of thousands of flies in different conditions to monitor the effects of lithium and how it extends life. We found low doses not only prolong life but also shield the body from stress and block fat production for flies on a high sugar diet. Low doses also protect against the harmful effects of higher, toxic doses of lithium and other substances such as the pesticide paraquat," said co-author Dr Ivana Bjedov from the UCL Cancer Institute.