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PNA Center for Neurological Research

The goal of our center is to have a place where philanthropist, advocates, organizations and family and friends of patients with a Neurological illness could donate monetary funds which can support Investigator initiated clinical trials. By having funds, we could optimize proper treatments in order to improve outcomes for patients with neurological diseases.

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PNA Center for Neurological Research

Lithium Therapy in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Lithium has been shown to be neuroprotective in models of acute brain injury and chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, tauopathies, and Huntington’s disease. In a recent study, lithium was neuroprotective in the mutant SOD1 G93A transgenic mouse model of motor neuron disease. Lithium treatment prolonged the mean survival time and increased disease duration compared with placebo.

The study also compared riluzole (50 mg bid) and lithium carbonate at dosages of 300-450 mg daily (titrated to a plasma level of 0.4-0.8 mEq/liter) to riluzole alone in people with ALS. No deaths occurred in the 16 participants treated with lithium and riluzole after 15 months, whereas 29% of participants taking only riluzole died. The ALSFRS-R, a validated functional measure, declined 1/3 as rapidly in lithium and riluzole treated patients. This small pilot study was not blinded and requires confirmation in a controlled study. The study is designed to determine whether the effect seen in the human pilot study is real. Early stopping rules for futility, efficacy and safety are included.

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