Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lithium Tested as Parkinson's Drug

Lithium, used to treat bipolar disorder, prevents the buildup of toxic proteins and cell loss associated with Parkinson's disease, U.S. researchers say.
Lead author Julie Andersen of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging says preclinical research is under way to determine correct dosages for the drug and the Buck Institute is working toward initiating Phase IIa clinical studies of lithium in humans in conjunction with standard Parkinson's disease drug therapy.
"This is the first time lithium has been tested in an animal model of Parkinson's disease," Andersen says in a statement. "The fact that lithium's safety profile in humans is well understood greatly reduces trial risk and lowers a significant hurdle to getting it into the clinic."
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