Lithium levels in drinking water and risk of suicide

Okay, the summary is this, researchers looked at the natural lithium in drinking water as compared to suicide rates. Their conclusion:

We found that lithium levels were significantly and negatively associated with SMR averages for 2002–2006. These findings suggest that even very low levels of lithium in drinking water may play a role in reducing suicide risk within the general population.

Now, it’s interesting. And it needs to be replicated. it has implications for all sorts of uses, from calming the general populous to calming prison populations. I doubt that these researchers are thinking of anything that manipulative. These things always come from some member of government mis-reading and interesting correlation as a causation.

For my part, as soon as I saw the title of the article, I thought “oh, no, did you learn nothing from the Miranda fiasco” and started looking for hands of blue on the researchers. (If you haven’t seen Serenity, why not? Go rent it right now.)

(via Greg Laden)