A double-blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial of lithium carbonate in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
|Sponsor||University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust|
|Funder||Motor Neurone Disease Association and NIHR|
|CI||Dr Richard Orrell|
|UK sites||London Queen square|
Recent research suggests that lithium carbonate may slow down the progression of MND. Lithium may protect motor neurons through a range of mechanisms, including improving:
- transport of proteins along the motor neuron
- transport of mitochondria
- activating cell survival factors
In one study, lithium prolonged survival in a mouse model of MND.
This was a multi-centre study in the UK. It involved 215 patients with MND, taking lithium or placebo for 18 months.
The trial assessed the safety, efficacy and tolerability of
lithium combined with riluzole as a treatment for MND.
Assessments included survival, symptoms, quality of life, and function. Participants were randomised to take lithium or placebo, the level of lithium in the blood was monitored, and the dose of lithium (and placebo) adjusted as needed.