Navigation Links
Lithium of No Benefit in ALS, Study Finds
Date:8/11/2010

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A new study appears to dash hopes that the psychiatric drug lithium can benefit patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The investigation involving 171 people with ALS was stopped early, in November 2009, because of high dropout rates from death, side effects or because patients thought the drug was ineffective.

ALS -- sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease after the N.Y. Yankee who died of the condition -- is a progressive nervous system disorder that causes weakness in muscles, including those controlling breathing and swallowing. Median survival is three years, and only one drug -- riluzole -- is approved for ALS treatment in the United States.

Interest in lithium, which is often used to treat bipolar disorder, increased after a small Italian study was published two years ago, suggesting a beneficial effect for ALS patients, said Dr. Adriano Chio, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Torino, Italy. In that study, lithium was thought to have prolonged survival of 16 ALS patients, Chio said.

How might lithium have helped?

"Lithium could have an effect on one of the mechanisms supposedly related to the motor neuron degeneration in ALS, the accumulation of pathological proteins in the neuron," said Chio, who led the new study, noting subsequent research has not confirmed this effect.

In the new study, published in the Aug. 17 issue of Neurology, the drop-out rate, at 68 percent, was two times higher than the drop-out rate reported by previous trials, Chio said.

All participants received lithium, but in two different doses, and the drug was not well-tolerated by either group. Patients died or lost their autonomy at the same rate in both groups.

In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Carmel Armon of Tufts University said one limitation of the Chio study, which Chio acknowledges, is that it didn't use a true placebo, but rather different doses. Other ongoing studies that are comparing the active drug to placebo may give the definitive answers, Armon said.

"This study [by Chio] shows there are toxic doses of lithium," said Lucie Bruijn, chief scientist for the ALS Association in Washington, D.C.

"We knew lithium has to be monitored carefully in terms of dose," Bruijn said. "What's shown here [in the new study] is a toxic level in some cases and not a strong benefit."

Even at what was termed "subtherapeutic doses," the lithium was poorly tolerated, Chio found. All 71 patients reported at least one adverse event, some as serious as heart disturbance, cerebral hemorrhage or deep vein blood clots.

Chio said two other trials are assessing the effect of lithium in ALS, but he doubts any positive effect of lithium will be shown.

In the future, Chio added, stem cell therapy may prove useful for ALS.

More information

To learn more about ALS, visit the ALS Association.

SOURCES: Adriano Chio, M.D., associate professor, neurology, First Faculty of Medicine, University of Torino, Italy; Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D., chief scientist, ALS Association, Washington, D.C.; Aug. 17, 2010, Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. No Evidence That Lithium Helps in ALS
2. 30 million women to benefit from health reform law
3. Researchers study benefits of white button mushrooms
4. Study finds patients benefit from thorough discussion of recommended operations
5. Society of Interventional Radiology advances global definition of specialty, benefits patients
6. Social Security Disability Benefits Can Be Crucial to Surviving With Spinal Cord Injury, Allsup Reports
7. Advocate Health Care Reports $462 Million in Community Benefits
8. Parkinson's Disease Patient Tells Personal Story to Benefit PD Research; Donates Book Proceeds to PD Charities
9. Mulago Positive Women's Network Announce Their "BONO" Bracelet Fundraiser to Benefit HIV+ Women in Uganda
10. Intensively lowering glucose: Possible benefits must be weighed against risks
11. Examining risks and benefits of alcohol consumption
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Lithium of No Benefit in ALS, Study Finds
(Date:5/24/2017)... Hills, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... announced today its participation in nVerge 2017 – a one-day technology conference in San ... Altec’s document management solution, which allows users to fully utilize and enhance their Sage ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... Patients who ... Cortland, OH, can now meet with Dr. Joseph Bedich for a consultation, with or ... simultaneously improving their oral health and functionality. , Dr. Bedich offers a ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, ... ... affecting the female reproductive tract in which the endometrial lining of the ... causing inflammation and pain. Patients experiencing painful intercourse, painful periods, pelvic pain, ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... Massapequa Park, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 24, ... ... today announced the practice is offering holistic pediatric dentistry options for its patients ... the context of the patient’s entire physical well being, and is one of ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... Technique, ... avoiding back injury when either lifting weights for strength training and exercise or simply ... Spine Center . , “Body position is everything,” Dr. Chang says. “Improper technique in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017  May is Stroke Awareness ... of the most important methods to prevent a stroke: ... Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, undetected and uncontrolled ... Omron, the global leader in personal heart health ... elimination of heart attack and stroke and is advancing ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... and SAN DIEGO , May 4, ... (ACOG) 2017 Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting— OBP Medical ... medical devices, today announced the launch of a new ... OfficeSPEC and ER-SPEC vaginal specula. Already ... extra-small and extra-large sizes makes OBP Medical,s line of ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... revenue growth of nine percent next year and ... solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell (HSCT) or ... and donor. Molecular testing technologies are well-suited for this ... healthcare-only market research publisher Kalorama Information. The various ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: