MND Australia

MAGNET - Lithium Carbonate

What does Lithium Carbonate do?

Lithium has been shown to have protective effects in cell and animal models of neurodegeneration, including ALS.  Although previous clinical trials showed that the drug Lithium Carbonate was not beneficial for MND patients, researchers have identified a group of patients that may have responded to the drug when looking more closely at trial data. The prognosis for MND patients with changes in the unc13A gene, who generally have a more rapid disease course, appeared to improve when given lithium carbonate.


MAGNET' (Multi-arm, Adaptive, Group-sequential trial NETwork) is the first international platform trial focused on finding effective treatments for MND. A platform trial allows multiple treatments to be tested simultaneously.

Another advantage of a multi-arm design is that it gives a higher chance for people to be randomised into the treatment arms rather than the placebo arm. In the future, new candidate drugs will be added to the study and this gives people an even better chance of being randomised to take a potential treatment.


The MAGNET trial currently consists of one sub-study, and this is to test the effectiveness of lithium carbonate. This trial will specifically test the effectiveness of lithium carbonate in patients carrying mutations in the unc13A gene.

How can I take part in this trial?

Trial sites and eligibility criteria are listed below. In order to take part in a clinical trial, you should first speak to your neurologist or MND Clinic. This trial is only open to unc13A-determined MND patients.

Eligibility criteria

  • Diagnosis of ALS according to the revised El Escorial criteria (possible, probable-laboratory supported, probable or definite).
  • TRICALS risk profile > -6.0 and < -2.0
NSWBrain and Mind Centre
University of Sydney

Macquarie Health Neurology
QLDSunshine Coast University Hospital

Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital    
SAFlinders Medical Centre
VICCalvary Health Care Bethlehem
WAThe Perron Institute

Want to know more? 

For more information visit the EU Clinical Trials Register