How neuroprotective is lithium? And if this is the case, should it be given in low doses as in your discussion in PL to other individuals or in general?
There’s no definitive answer to this question yet, but the PL opinion is that it is reasonable to consider giving very low-dose lithium (equivalent to about 5 mg/d elemental lithium) to individuals who are not diagnosed with mood conditions, if they have other risk factors for dementia, such as a strong family history. Lithium is strongly neuroprotective, much more so than any other psychotropic agent, as was detailed in the PL special article last month. Unlike other agents, the neuroprotective effect of lithium is repeatedly proven in many different animal species and in humans. This effect is very robust neurobiologically in vitro and in vivo, including in the clinical human studies described last month.