Archive for the ‘lithium’ Category

I was in the second of two all-day meetings today. The first I got through by being actively interested plus taking adderall, but by today I was so tired of paying attention that the adderall wasn’t much help. (It doesn’t fix not wanting to pay attention, luckily; the first add medication I tried caused me to pay attention to everything anybody said no matter what even if I really wanted to think about something else.) So tonight is Random Facts From Goodwin & Jamison (2007) Night, instead of semi-coherent post on something substantive night.

  • People first developing bipolar disorder are, on average, 22.2 years old. In 1990 that figure was six years higher for studies with similar inclusion/exclusion criteria. Why? They mention a couple hypotheses: more people are being diagnosed bipolar instead of schizophrenic (and psychotic features appear to show up earlier), and antidepressants and stimulants are kicking off episodes earlier than they would naturally have occurred.
  • A few entries from a long list of conditions and drugs reported to precipitate manic episodes: influenza, Syndenham’s chorea (movement disorder caused by infection), bromide (a sedative used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries), and Q fever.
  • Apparently lithium during pregnancy isn’t anywhere near as likely to lead to a heart defect as we used to believe. (But you still shouldn’t breastfeed on it.)

Manic mice

Mice engineered to lack a specific gene showed behaviors similar to human mania in a study funded in part by NIMH; they were hyperactive, slept less, appeared less depressed and anxious, and craved sugar, cocaine and pleasure stimulation. The rodents’ behavior was more normal after lithium treatment or restoration of a functioning CLOCK protein, which the knocked-out gene codes for.

The article says this is similar to human mania, and it sounds like it’s similar enough to tell us useful stuff, although the mice don’t sound bipolar, just, as they say, behaving similarly to some aspects of manic humans.

The CLOCK protein is involved in circadian rhythms. And so here is some interesting stuff on circadian rhythms in bipolar disorder, and on how lithium works, from one of my favorite bipolar disorder sites, Jim Phelps’ Psych Education. Lots of science, lots of high-level information that isn’t very widely spread, and an excellent site for info on bipolar II in general and on anxiety in bipolar.