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Incredible article reporting first effective therapy for ALS

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  • Incredible article reporting first effective therapy for ALS

    I will comment later on this article. Here is the abstract

    [*] Fornai F, Longone P, Cafaro L, Kastsiuchenka O, Ferrucci M, Manca ML, Lazzeri G, Spalloni A, Bellio N, Lenzi P, Modugno N, Siciliano G, Isidoro C, Murri L, Ruggieri S and Paparelli A (2008). Lithium delays progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 105: 2052-7. Department of Human Morphology and Applied Biology, University of Pisa 56100 Pisa, Italy. ALS is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder with no effective treatment. In the present study, we found that daily doses of lithium, leading to plasma levels ranging from 0.4 to 0.8 mEq/liter, delay disease progression in human patients affected by ALS. None of the patients treated with lithium died during the 15 months of the follow-up, and disease progression was markedly attenuated when compared with age-, disease duration-, and sex-matched control patients treated with riluzole for the same amount of time. In a parallel study on a genetic ALS animal model, the G93A mouse, we found a marked neuroprotection by lithium, which delayed disease onset and duration and augmented the life span. These effects were concomitant with activation of autophagy and an increase in the number of the mitochondria in motor neurons and suppressed reactive astrogliosis. Again, lithium reduced the slow necrosis characterized by mitochondrial vacuolization and increased the number of neurons counted in lamina VII that were severely affected in saline-treated G93A mice. After lithium administration in G93A mice, the number of these neurons was higher even when compared with saline-treated WT. All these mechanisms may contribute to the effects of lithium, and these results offer a promising perspective for the treatment of human patients affected by ALS.

  • #2
    I was reading about a man with ALS the other day and he is taking low doses of lithium as part of his selected alternative treatments.,6967794.story
    "Soltys will likely talk with the film crew about how he has chosen to treat his ALS, which includes taking low dosages of lithium and working with a doctor on homeopathic remedies such as acupuncture and Reiki — a Japanese relaxation technique used to promote healing. Since there is no proven drug to treat ALS, Soltys feels he has nothing to lose by trying different methods."

    Do you think there are already a substantial number of ALS patients already using lithium? The article doesn't say how he came to choose to take lithium, but he must have got information on its possibilities from somewhere.


    • #3
      Someone close to me has ALS, progressed about 18 months. He is on a vent but maintains some leg movement. Would it be smart to start him on off-label lithium treatment or are there still significant risks? ChinaSCINet proved safety, correct? I feel like we should be trying everything at this point.


      • #4
        good news ....maybe soon als ,sci will be history.from delay to cure is not easy ....but is a very important step.the scientists will find a cure [money ,trials and a president who care about sci ,als etc.].keep working .god bless all the scientists who are working hard to cure us.