Effects Of Lithium On Memory And Cognition

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The Neurosensory Effects of Lithium
On Memory and Cognition
Chelse S. Pike
University of West GA

Abstract More than 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer 's or some form of dementia. The Alzheimer 's Association says that dementia can also be referred to as memory loss. If you could take a magic pill and have a stable memory...would you do it? This paper explores the potential effects Lithium Carbonate has on memory, motor skills and cognition. For the purpose of this essay Lithium Carbonate will be referred to as Lithium, from this point further. The purpose of this paper is to determine if Lithium affects the brain’s memory, or has no effect at all, more specifically in Alzheimer 's
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Squire et al. measured the participant’s manic and depressive state with a series of test, along with a subjective state questionnaire. The results indicated that lithium had a significant and detrimental effect on memory and motor speed. Whereas, Shaw, Stokes, Mann and Manevitz (1987) conducted a 16 person double blind crossover design study on lithium carbonate effects on the memory and motor speed of bipolar patients. The participants were between the ages of 22 to 55. Each patient was either given a dose of lithium or a placebo. After 2 weeks participants were administered a battery of memory and cognitive test. Shaw et al. (1987) reported lithium induced slowing performance on certain motor tests; however it did not cause memory impairment or a change in self-assessment of memory. This paper examines Squire et al. and Shaw et al. research against the fictional experiment designed by Pike (2015).
This study was chosen to better understand the effects Lithium can have on the brain and more specifically, memory. Lithium can be used in many different ways to manage bipolar disorder, major depression, and PTSD. While there are studies that have tested the effects of Lithium on the brain in participants with bipolar disorder, this paper branches to specifically diagnosed Alzheimer 's participants. If this study is successful and proven to increase memory, this opens a door for the need of more
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