Lithium carbonate may have the potential to be a neuroregenerative agent for SCI (Yang et al. 2012).
Total Sample Size
|Yang et al. 2012
|Population: Mean age=40yr; Gender: males=35, females=1; Severity of injury: incomplete=7, complete=29; Time post injury >1yr; Type of pain=neuropathic.
Intervention: Participants were randomized to receive oral lithium carbonate (0.6-1.2mmol/L, treatment, n=18) or placebo (control, n=18) for 6wk. Outcomes were assessed pre and post treatment and at 6mo follow-up.
Outcome Measures: Visual Analogue Scale – Pain Intensity (VAS-PI), Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), Sensory scores (touch and pinprick).
|1. VAS-PI scores were significantly lower in the treatment group than in controls at 6wk (p=0.014), which lasted up to 4.5mo post treatment (p=0.041).
2. Sensory and MAS scores did not change significantly from baseline to 6wk or to 6mo in either group; the difference between groups was not significant at either time point.
In a double blind placebo controlled randomized trial, Yang et al. (2012) found that individuals that received lithium carbonate had markedly reduced VAS scores over a 6 week period and at 6 month follow-up compared to the placebo group.
There is level 1b evidence (from one RCT: Yang et al. 2012) that lithium carbonate may reduce neuropathic pain post SCI.