Alzheimer's Matters Blog

Lithium & Your Brain Health

October 2, 2014

Category: Protecting Brain Health

Prescription bottle


A recent article in the New York Times posed a provacative question: “Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium?” The author reviewed research showing an association between lithium exposure and “beneficial clinical, behavioral, legal and medical outcomes,” including some evidence that the naturally occurring element can protect brain health.

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation recently launched to help doctors and patients understand the strength of the evidence for and against the use of strategies like lithium in dementia prevention. Our team of PhD scientists have evaluated the evidence for and against dozens of preventative strategies in a systematic, credible and clear way so that you can make decisions about your long-term brain health based on science not supposition.

We’ve recently added a report to Cognitive Vitality evaluating the evidence for and against the use of lithium as a dietary supplement, as well as a report evaluating the evidence for lithium as a prescription drug treatment for dementia prevention. We encourage you to have a look at the reports, which reveal that there is only “limited” evidence supporting the “possible” efficacy of lithium as a drug treatment—and “very limited” evidence supporting the “possible” efficacy of lithium as a dietary supplement.

When you’re armed with the facts about dementia prevention and brain health, you’ll be better able to work with your doctor to make the best decisions for your long-term cognitive vitality.