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Thwarting Alzheimer’s disease through lithium microdosing

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia and is a progressive degenerative disorder that causes brain cells to die. (1) The WHO estimates that over 47 million people are afflicted with some form of dementia. In Canada alone it is estimated that dementia will cost the healthcare system over $16 billion by 2031. (2) As such, there is a growing need to learn more about this AD and how to effectively treat patients with this debilitating disease.

The use of lithium for treating AD has been a topic of debate as the clinical data regarding the effectiveness of it has yielded conflicting results. Additionally, the narrow therapeutic window for lithium along with its toxic side effects have furthered deterred its use in the clinic. Recent work done by Dr. Cuello's group at McGill University using a microdosed formulation in a rat model of AD is showing a great deal of promise. (3)  The objective of using a microdose formulation is to provide a more stable and effective delivery mechanism while avoiding the toxic side effects observed with traditional formulations of lithium. The researchers found that by administering their new formulation of lithium early during the development of AD that many of the classical molecular hallmarks of AD can be mitigated.

Early detection of AD is difficult as patients are often reluctant to see a physician and may try to hide their symptoms as long as possible. (4) As such, there is a need to develop novel objective forms of detection.

It is likely that future detection methods of AD will involve detecting the presence of biomarkers in patient samples. These tests will likely utilize antibodies for the capture or detection of targeted biomarkers. Here at MediMabs we specialize in developing antibodies against novel targets.  Do not hesitate to contact us if you have a target you would like to develop antibodies against.