Can Lithium or Valproate Untie Tangles in Alzheimer's Disease?

The article in this issue by Hampel et al1 offers a glimpse of an interesting chapter in the history of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) treatment research. An understanding of the significance of this report, which touches on issues ranging from the identification of novel targets for treatment to widely differing approaches to trial design, provides an appreciation of the rapid pace of treatment development in the field and allows one to gain some insight into an interesting historical sidebar.

Alzheimer’s disease is now the fourth leading cause of death in people over age 65 years in the United States and the only major cause of death that is increasing over time.

J Clin Psychiatry 2009;70(6):919-921