March 27th, 2008

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Lithium and A.L.S.

There's been a potential breakthrough in A.L.S. treatment. In Italy, doctors gave a number of A.L.S. patients lithium. The results were dramatic. 30% of the control group died within the study period. None of the lithium patients did. They weren't cured, or even arrested. But they did slow down the progression quite a bit.

A second U.S. based study is under way.

Since lithium is already approved and on the market for other reasons, it's available to anyone who can wrangle a prescription from their doctor. So lots of A.L.S. patients are doing so, despite any standardized dosing for A.L.S. Many of these people are participating in an unofficial study.

Mom considered going on lithium because she wants to survive long enough to hold my niece/nephew who is due in September. She's decided against it though because she thinks she'll last long enough anyway, and doesn't want to prolong her life. She's pretty far along and isn't to thrilled with the thought of prolonging her life in her current level of A.L.S.

I'd probably go on the lithium if it were me. But then, I'd also have made a point to move to Oregon to take advantage of their assisted suicide law as well.