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


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

Date:

December 5, 2017

Source:

IOS Press

Summary:

Trace elements of lithium in drinking water may slow death rates from Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests. Rates of diabetes and obesity, which are important risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, also decrease if there is a particular amount of lithium in the water, says the study.

Trace elements of lithium in drinking water may slow death rates from Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests. Rates of diabetes and obesity, which are important risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, also decrease if there is a particular amount of lithium in the water, says the study, published recently in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Postdoctoral fellow Val Fajardo and Rebecca MacPherson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences, collected statistics on various lithium levels in drinking water in 234 counties across Texas.

Lithium is a water-soluble alkali metal found in igneous rocks and mineral springs. It is commonly used to treat bipolar and other mood disorders, but at much higher doses than what occurs naturally in drinking water.

The research team, which included Associate Professor of Health Sciences Paul LeBlanc, compared lithium levels naturally found in tap water with Alzheimer's disease mortality rates, along with the incidence of obesity and diabetes, in the Texas counties.

"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.

"However, we are one of the first groups to show that lithium's potential protective effect against Alzheimer's disease, obesity and diabetes may translate to the population setting through very low levels of lithium in tap water," says Fajardo.

The Brock research comes on the heels of an August study from the University of Copenhagen linking high lithium levels in drinking water to decreases in dementia rates.

But Fajardo warns it's too early to start advising authorities to add lithium to drinking water.

"There's so much more research we have to do before policy-makers look at the evidence and say, OK, let's start supplementing tap water with lithium just like we do in some municipalities with fluoride to prevent tooth decay," he says.

 

Story Source:

Materials provided by IOS Press. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

 

Journal Reference:

1.            Val Andrew Fajardo, Val Andrei Fajardo, Paul J. LeBlanc, Rebecca E.K. MacPherson. Examining the Relationship between Trace Lithium in Drinking Water and the Rising Rates of Age-Adjusted Alzheimer's Disease Mortality in Texas. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2017; 61 (1): 425 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-170744

 

 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease Treatment has potential to correct behavioral and physical deficits associated with the disease

Date:

December 5, 2017

Source:

American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Summary:

A new study reveals that hyperbaric oxygen treatments may alleviate symptoms experienced by patients with Alzheimer's disease.

A new Tel Aviv University study reveals that hyperbaric oxygen treatments may ameliorate symptoms experienced by patients with Alzheimer's disease.

"This revolutionary treatment for Alzheimer's disease uses a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which has been shown in the past to be extremely effective in treating wounds that were slow to heal," says Prof. Uri Ashery of TAU's Sagol School of Neuroscience and the Faculty of Life Sciences, who led the research for the study. "We have now shown for the first time that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can actually improve the pathology of Alzheimer's disease and correct behavioral deficits associated with the disease.

"This research is extremely exciting as it explores a new therapy that holds promise as a treatment of Alzheimer's disease," Prof. Ashery says.

The research was conducted by PhD student Ronit Shapira of TAU's Faculty of Life Sciences; Prof. Beka Solomon and Dan Frenkel of TAU's Sagol School of Neuroscience and Faculty of Life Sciences; and Prof. Shai Efrati of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Sagol School of Neuroscience and Assaf-Harofeh Medical Center. It was published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.

Patients who undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy for different conditions breathe in pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber. In this chamber, the air pressure is increased to twice that of normal air. Under these conditions, oxygen solubility in the blood increases and is transported by blood vessels throughout the body. The added oxygen stimulates the release of growth factors and stem cells, which themselves promote healing.

The TAU scientists used a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease and built a custom-made hyperbaric oxygen chamber suitable for small animals. Then, over the course of 14 days, the team administered hyperbaric oxygen treatment to the mice for one hour per day. After 14 days, the mice underwent a series of behavioral tests as well as tissue biochemical tests to understand how hyperbaric oxygen treatment affects the pathological hallmarks associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The treatment reduced behavioral deficiencies compared to the non-transgenic control mice, reduced plaque pathology by 40%, and reduced neuroinflammation by about 40%.

"There are serious clinical implications to this research," says Shapira, principal investigator of the study. "Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is a well-tolerated and safe therapy used in clinics around the world for various medical conditions, including neurological disorders. Although further research is needed to elucidate the underlying beneficial mechanisms of the therapy and to evaluate its beneficial effects in various Alzheimer patient populations, it holds great potential for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease."

"In this hallmark study, the beneficial physiological effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy were directly demonstrated on Alzheimer-affected brain tissue," says Prof. Efrati. "We assume that the main challenge in human use will be to initiate the treatment at early stages before significant amount of brain tissue is lost."

The researchers are currently testing the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen treatment on an additional mouse model of Alzheimer's disease to investigate the mechanisms underlying its impact on the disease.

 

Story Source:

Materials provided by American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

 

Journal Reference:

1.            Ronit Shapira, Beka Solomon, Shai Efrati, Dan Frenkel, Uri Ashery. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy ameliorates pathophysiology of 3xTg-AD mouse model by attenuating neuroinflammation. Neurobiology of Aging, 2018; 62: 105 DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.10.007