Dr. Jill Carnahan wrote on an article on her blog called “A Little Lithium Goes a Long Way: Five Benefits of Low-Dose Lithium.”
From the article:
The effects of low dose lithium on the brain are downright fascinating. Low dose lithium has been shown to stabilize mood, be neuroprotective, and there are even small studies and anecdotal stories of lithium improving Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome.
While we could definitely use more studies on the effects of low dose lithium on the brain, the potential to boost cognitive function is promising. Lithium appears to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is essential to proper brain function. Lithium also appears to inhibit glycogen synthase kinase-3 activity, which is involved in intracellular signaling.
Lithium also inhibits N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated calcium influx, which has been associated with the hallmark symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, lithium also suppresses calcium-dependent activation of pro-apoptotic signaling pathways, which a very scientific way of saying it helps to keep cell death in check.
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