Original ArticleDoes Lithium Therapy Protect Against the Onset of Dementia?Dunn, Nick MA, DM, MSc*; Holmes, Clive MB, BS, PhD†; Mullee, Mark MSc‡ Author Information From the *Senior Lecturer, Primary Medical Care, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK; †Senior Lecturer, Old Age Psychiatry, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK; ‡Principal Research Fellow, Medical Statistics, Health Care Research Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK. Received for publication May 24, 2004; accepted September 5, 2004. This work was funded by the Wessex Medical Trust, and the Alzheimer's Society, U.K. Reprints: Dr Nick R. Dunn, Aldermoor Health Centre, Aldermoor Close, Southampton, SO16 5ST, United Kingdom (e-mail: [email protected]). Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: January 2005 - Volume 19 - Issue 1 - p 20-22 doi: 10.1097/01.wad.0000155068.23937.9b Buy Metrics Abstract Lithium compounds might theoretically play a role in preventing dementia by inhibiting formation both of beta amyloid and hyper phosphorylated tau protein. We carried out a case-control study to assess any possible clinical effects of lithium therapy on the diagnosis of dementia, using data from the General Practice Research Database, which collects routine data from primary care patients in the UK. Patients who received lithium had a higher risk of a diagnosis of dementia compared with those who did not (adjusted odds ratio 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-2.8). There was a trend toward increasing risk with increasing numbers of lithium prescriptions. This evidence does not support the use of lithium for preventing dementia. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.