Are we blind to the link between Lithium and Alzheimer’s Disease?

It seems that this simple element blocks the function of GSK-3β.  It is interesting that elderly patients with manic depression treated with Lithium have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease compared to others not treated with Lithium.

The article by Wise Young “Review of Lithium effects on brain and blood” Cell Transplantation 2009 18:951-975 compelled me to write.

It is sad but interesting to note that attempts to treat Alzheimer’s with new pharmacological agents have been disappointing and one large multinational company has withdrawn from this field. 

It seems that the key is very early treatment, once the β-amyloids have formed it is like dealing with concrete whereas prevention of amyloids may be the answer.  This leads to the question of how can we diagnose Alzheimer’s early?  As pointed out earlier this may be due to early neurological abnormalities in nerve fibres detected by photograph enhanced retinal fibre changes.  Both of these avenues are easy to undertake and may offer hope in this crippling illness.


Is this a micro-Lithium plot?

As readers to my articles would glean, I am a fan of micro-Lithium at its recommended daily dose.

·         It is established now that Lithium is an essential mineral

·         Intake in many countries is reduced due to water sources being Lithium deficient from lakes, rain reservoirs etc.  The water from Lake Ontario has no detectable amounts of Lithium for the past 10 years.  This lack of Lithium in the water is aggravated by the addiction to bottled water.

·         Micro-Lithium can not be bought or found in any over the counter preparations

·         In the past Amazon and other USA sales outlet would export micro-Lithium to Canada.  Recently, this small importation was blocked by Health Canada together with L-Tryptophan another favourite agent in my thoughts.

·         I am grateful for the search by the Natural & Non-prescription Health Products directorate that found “our database indicated there are no over-the-counter (OTC) products containing Lithium.  All productions containing Lithium are under prescription status”.

·         Adding to the submersion of Lithium, is the fact that I have been unable to find a laboratory that is able to detect micro-levels of Lithium in blood (routine tests for micro-levels for bipolar disorder is readily available and insured under OHIP).  The few hair analyses I have carried out show significantly low levels of Lithium in patients on a good diet!

·         This blockade on Lithium continues and is somewhat unique as one looks at the micronutrients in multiple vitamins available in Canada or those shipped from the USA, lithium is absent.

·         In spa areas which are famous like Mineral Springs in Texas and Baden Baden in Germany, the levels are in excess of the RDA intake.

·         With the spectrum of actions that have been documented from memory, dementia, cardiovascular, love, drug addiction, crime, etc. it is quite amazing.  One universal action of Lithium is in reducing the “short fuse syndrome” it would be great as option in drinking fountains in prisons.

I’m certain that many readers are fed up with the Lithium beating of the drum, but this recent tirade was stimulated by finding that the Lithuanian study on Lithium in ground water and suicide confirmed many of the findings of the studies in Texas.  If Lithuania with its small population can carry out this research, I wonder why Canada lags behind?


This is yet another story under the subject of “no patent, no profit, no development”

Osteoarthritis has been the bane of humans and animals since evolution with animals leaving water and walking on land.  The cartilage wears out and the resulting arthritis produces pain, swelling, lack of mobility, and death in some animals or replacement with metal or ceramic joints.  In the late 1950’s some exciting work was carried out by Lennart Roden demonstrating that Glucosamine stimulated the production of chondroitin and therefore the possible reversal of osteoarthritis.  From the beginning the research was hindered by the lack of a patent, conversion of the hydrochloride to the sulfate with a patentable process allowed some research but the sulfate needed salt to maintain its stability.

A number of small research studies were carried out but were underfunded and undersized – these failed to penetrate main stream medicine.

Glucosamine is a natural part of the proteoglycan synthesis cycle, non-toxic, and has a multitude of actions which have not been fully explored due to a lack of profitability.

In 2012 a study by Bell et al European Journal of Epidemiology 27(8):593-603 involving 77510 patients confirmed improvement in symptoms but was associated with a reduced total mortality of certain broad causes of death.  Did this paper hit the headlines? No!

In the same vein, you can’t keep a good molecule down, the recent paper from the International Heart Journal 2017 Dec 12 58(6):926-932 headed “Oral administration of Glucosamine proves vascular endothelial function by modulating intracellular redox state”.  The results of this study suggest that oral glucosamine might improve vascular endothelial function by modulating intracellular redox state.  In other words, it will keep your heart arteries healthy.

Glucosamine is natural, involved in many cycles of the body, non-toxic, and should be non-expensive.

If it had a patent, you would have heard about it!  A sad state of affairs for your joints and arteries!

Lessons to be learnt from Lithium

The paper Lithium: the pharmacodynamic actions of this amazing ion by Kayleigh M. Brown in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology 2013; 3(3):163 raises a number of interesting points.  Perhaps the most important is the fact that Lithium works by inhibiting enzymes, with the most important being GSK-3.

At the same time, I have been catching up on my reading on the actions of tranquilizers, anti-depressants, mood modifiers, etc. and was struck by the main method of these and many other drugs like hypotensive etc. is on receptors.  It seems that many cells in many conditions having one or more receptors blocked spontaneously produce more receptors and thus weaken the action of the drug.  On reducing the dosage of the active drug, one gets a reverse effect.  In the sense that there are a large number of active receptors without an agonist thus withdrawal might produce more symptoms than prior to treatment.

I think the above idea that cells respond to the blockade of receptors by producing more receptors is a worrying problem particularly with anti-depressants, tranquilizers, mood-modifying drugs etc.   Withdrawal can cause more symptoms than the original illness.  Lithium seems to work by enzyme inhibition.  Luckily, inhibition of an enzyme does not seem to produce more enzymes and consequently flooding the blockage.  Thus, we have GSK-3 and inositol monophosphates enzymes that control many functions that can actually be blocked without producing a by-pass effect. 

It seems that GSK-3 particularly has a vast array of actions, blockade with Lithium ion seems to have many positive effects.

Like two faces of Eve, Lithium has an effect in large doses on manic depression and micro-doses (1 mg or less) have an effect on many other agents.  Micro-dose levels such as are found in drinking water in many areas and has been associated with a reduction of dementia, violence, crimes, etc.  Perhaps, the effect of Lithium in water is to reduce addiction and we seem to be full-speed ahead for filtered, reservoir water and we are all going to suffer from Lithium deficiency!

Actions of micro-Lithium:

·         Longevity

·         Treatment and prevention of dementia

·         Memory

·         Ischemic heart disease and hypertension (this has been known since the last 1900’s that hard water reduces heart attacks and hypertension!)

·         Spread of strokes

·         Anti-drug addiction

·         Love, sex, emotion

·         Neurodegenerative illnesses which seem to be promoted by the activation of GSK-3

·         Reduction in short fuse syndrome – over the past few decades, reaction to often minor annoyances result in violence thus short fuse syndrome is increasing

·         Shown to be effective in preventing the degradation of cartilage in the prevention of Osteoarthritis!

An interesting study would be on the use of Lithium in prisons where it has great potential to reduce the build up of violence and anger.  The introduction of a fountain with water containing Lithium is all that is needed.

From self observation, Lithium produces a minor tranquility but no effect on reaction time, a marked increase in memory recall, reduction of short fuse syndrome, not to mention a reduction in hypertension.

There are many things wrong with this world that was perhaps designed as a near perfect planet.  The removal of Lithium in our diet or water has based on many papers from Texas, Japan, and Lithuania has been associated with increased suicide, drug addiction, crime, etc. yet we continue on this path.  Never has such a simple answer to our problems been available – Lithium!

What more can you expect from a treatment costing less than $100 per year!


Purpose of posts/articles and abstracts

The main aim of our posts is to stimulate research, awareness of non-patentable or non-advertised avenues into agents that do not have the potential for profitability.  As we have said in the past – without a patent and potential profitability large commercial organizations tend to ignore these agents.

Typical examples are Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin, Boron, Lithium, etc.  These subjects still languish without support in advertising, research, or funding.

At no time are the articles meant to provide medical advice or directions for treatment but certainly these are topics that can be discussed with your healthcare professional.

Raising awareness of these orphan agents is important.  For example, Boron, a natural element with no patent or profitability is not going to attract support other than by using social media.


Alan L. Russell

2 arms of Lithium research merge into near positive proof

As pointed out previously there has been considerable scientific literature that micro-doses of Lithium have a significant clinical effect.  This ranges from epidemiological studies of ground water Lithium to small oral doses that affect higher cerebral functions including cognitive and emotional.

The recent paper by Vanessa J. De-Paula in Bipolar Disorders 2016; 18:692-95 provides perhaps the most important step in appreciating micro-Lithium.  Her studies using cell cultures of cortical and hippocampal neurons demonstrated that low doses of Lithium 0.02 and 0.2 mM increased brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF).  The latter is an important factor in a whole range of neuronal function particularly its protective response in preventing degenerative cell changes and the resulting functional disability.

The results demonstrated that micro-Lithium concentrations produced highly significant improvement in BDNF secretion.  Just as interesting was the less improvement in intra-cellular BDNF in the higher dose of 2 mM concentration.  This is equivalent to the concentration of Lithium found in patients with bipolar disorder.  Little is better than more for the improvement in cortical function.

Many faces of Lithium

Over the past year I feel that I have covered a wide spectrum of proven actions of Lithium from improvement in cognitive function, reduction of violent crime, drug addiction, suicide, etc.  It was only in looking for abnormal side-effects of micro-dose Lithium that I came across considerable work clearly demonstrating a correlation between hardness in water and atherosclerotic heart disease (Voors et al Am J Epid 1970;92:164-171 and 93:259-266).  Of the six elements in drinking water causing hardness the best correlation of improving AHD is that of the Lithium content.  It is interesting that the literature in this era has Lithium in drinking water.

With the cost of ischemic heart disease (IHD) I would have thought that the article in The Lancet December 20, 1969 “Does Lithium depletion cause atherosclerotic heart disease” would have been followed even at this late date.  From the article, “it would entail a highly cost-effective means of preventing AHD and improving the quality of middle-aged life through simply enrichment of municipal water supply”.  It draws attention to the action of Lithium antagonizing five of the most potent AHD risk factors – hypertension, diabetes, tissue uric acid, type A behaviour, and serum lipid levels.  See posts on Garrod discussing lithium and gout.

Concern with tampering of water supplies is understandable but just raises the Lithium concentration in communities drawing the water from lakes, rivers, or reservoirs to that found in many countries where there is no obvious evidence of toxicity in their Lithium levels might be justifiable or warrant more research.

I suppose it is never too late to learn!