Could low-dose lithium treat long COVID? UB launches clinical trial to find out

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The randomized clinical trial is recruiting 50 adults ages 18 to 80 with long COVID to participate.

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“I was shocked when the patient saw improvement within a matter of days,” says Guttuso. Since then, he discovered that during the pandemic, researchers in Spain had published findings revealing that patients who were already taking lithium for bipolar disorder who became acutely infected and hospitalized with COVID-19 had better outcomes than those not taking lithium.

Those findings, and the reports from his own patients, were intriguing. And when other physicians heard of Guttuso’s success, they began referring their patients with long COVID to him. Eventually, he was treating 10 additional long COVID patients with low-dose lithium; nine saw improvement from lithium. None experienced side effects.

https://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2023/01/002.html
 
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there’s a report of a 79 year old who had ME for 10 years and went into remission from rapamycin once a week. Incidentally he was also taking low dose lithium. Both promote autophagy (mitochondria recycling) so could work synergistically to improve energy metabolism. I think lithium is also associated with improving calcium channel functioning which has shown to be impaired in ME. I have rapamycin on its way but only just learned of potential lithium synergy so may add this.

note ellagic acid in pomegranate supplements also promotes autophagy. I’m sure other things do too. Possible avenue for ME treatment.
 
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metformin also promotes autophagy i believe. Would need to research possible contraindications, but these four treatments could work well together in theory.
 
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I would be very curious how they are selecting the participants, and how they are confirming CFS.

A study like this using low dose thorazine would probably net identical results. They are basically saying that CFS is a mental illness. Or, that a certain percentage of CFS patients have mental illness.

Results will be vague and they will claim great results and people with CFS will clamor to try some bootleg lithium. More the better, right?
 
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I don’t think that’s what it means or suggests. Lithium interacts with calcium channel functioning which is related to mitochondrial function. Medicines can and usually have far more than one effect, hence the massive potential for off label use not to mention unwanted side effects. It’s almost certainly not giving any benefit in ME/CFS from treating mental health.
 
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I don’t think that’s what it means or suggests. Lithium interacts with calcium channel functioning which is related to mitochondrial function. Medicines can and usually have far more than one effect, hence the massive potential for off label use not to mention unwanted side effects. It’s almost certainly not giving any benefit in ME/CFS from treating mental health.

Probably a majority of MD's in the US consider migraines, CFS, EDS, long covid, chronic pain, etc etc etc etc to be mental illness, I think there is a very high liklihood they are simply going after the symptoms in those peoples heads.

I would quote a source for my opinion of a "majority" of doctors, but such a figure is impossible to obtain for obvious reasons. No different than the epidemic of dumb doctors that think everybody needs to be on an anti-depressant.

Chemical pathways of nearly all anti-psychotics and old and new anti-depressants and valproic acid and thorazine and lithium are all fundamentally identical. As a result the side effects from all these past and present drugs are also very similar. The newer drugs just take longer before those disasterous side effects show up in most. The side effects of lithium are not nothing.
 
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As the researcher says, the benefits seem to stem from lithium’s anti-inflammatory effects. So despite your well founded suspicion about doctors believing ME is all in people’s heads, which I don’t disagree with, that’s not what’s being implied here.
 

JES

Senior Member
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1,296
Probably a majority of MD's in the US consider migraines, CFS, EDS, long covid, chronic pain, etc etc etc etc to be mental illness, I think there is a very high liklihood they are simply going after the symptoms in those peoples heads.

I would quote a source for my opinion of a "majority" of doctors, but such a figure is impossible to obtain for obvious reasons. No different than the epidemic of dumb doctors that think everybody needs to be on an anti-depressant.

Chemical pathways of nearly all anti-psychotics and old and new anti-depressants and valproic acid and thorazine and lithium are all fundamentally identical. As a result the side effects from all these past and present drugs are also very similar. The newer drugs just take longer before those disasterous side effects show up in most. The side effects of lithium are not nothing.

Quoting from here:
  • Lithium carbonate is typically prescribed at doses of 900-1800 mg/day. This would give you about 170-340 mg of elemental lithium.
  • Low-dose lithium, also known as sub-therapeutic doses, is when lithium carbonate is prescribed at about 150 mg/day (around 29 mg of elemental lithium).
  • Lithium orotate usually contains only 5 mg of elemental lithium per dose. This is the typical supplemental dosage.

The long COVID study talks about low-dose lithium, so I think the dosage would be between 5 and 29 mg of elemental lithium. At this dosage it would probably not require any blood monitoring and any side effects would be much lower as well, a bit like with low-dose naltrexone or low-dose Abilify, which are used by ME/CFS patients.
 
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It is a well known fact that regions of the US where lithium occurs naturally in the water supply, that mental health issues are significantly lower. The amounts occuring naturally in the water supply are lower than the "low dose" amounts mentioned here.

I say again that low dose thorazine would net similar results. Within any group of people with a disease or medical condition, you will have a certain percentage of the patients that benefit from some psych pills, and this study is just another one of many of similar studies that reproduce the same result for a different ailment with a different "cure." Thorazine, prozac and penicillan and many other substances have "anti-iinflammatory" effects if you look hard enough.

I am not against this research, but I think the stated purposes are deceitful and the overall prospects are way overblown.
 
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That paper on Huntington's Chorea shows in vitro probability of lithium and rapamycin working better (for Huntingtons) than another therapy, in a very specific way. Many antibiotics, notably penicillin, have anti-inflammatory properties-- so it is no surprise in this study. They pretty much are stating the obvious and relating it to Huntington's. No indication they are talking about any sort of synergy, rather additive effect.
 

jaybee00

Senior Member
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“We provide proof-of-principle for this rational combination treatment approach in vivo by showing greater protection against neurodegeneration in an HD fly model with TOR inhibition and lithium, or in HD flies treated with rapamycin and lithium, compared with either pathway alone.”

Try reading the papers.
 
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Lithium carbonate comes in 300 mg tablets in my country (india)
How author used 10 mg for long covid?
It's impossible to break it into 30 parts.

Sorry i don't have that much knowledge

Can anyone please chime in?
 
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It’s synergistic. Rapa promotes autophagy and lithium inhibits an enzyme that suppresses autophagy. And this isn’t working by addressing mental health.