Within the past year, two separate studies by researchers in Canada and Denmark have suggested that higher levels of lithium in drinking water are associated with lower rates of Alzheimer’s and dementia. But according to new research from the University of Chicago, the rates of mental health disorders instead seem to be influenced by regional demographics and available healthcare resources.

Robert Gibbons, PhD, director of UChicago’s Center for Health Statistics, and an interdisciplinary team of students from his Statistical Applications course completed a class project on the effects of lithium levels in drinking water and published their findings in the May 2018 issue of JAMA Psychiatry.