Jon litu – niezwykły środek psychotropowy


  • Janusz Rybakowski członek korespondent PAN, Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Poznaniu

Słowa kluczowe:

lithium, mood disorders, suicide, neuroprotection


Lithium was one of the first elements (besides hydrogen and helium) after the Big Bang. As a chemical element was identified in 1818. In the 19th century, Carl Lange treated periodic depression with lithium, based on the „uric acid diathesis” concept. In 1949, John Cade demonstrated the therapeutic effect of lithium in manic states. In 1963, Geoffrey Hartigan found that long-term lithium administration prevents recurrences in mood disorders, and lithium became a prototype of mood-stabilizing drugs. Currently, lithium is regarded as a first-line drug for preventing manic and depressive recurrences in mood disorders, and is useful for the treatment of manic and depressive episodes and the augmentation of antidepressants. Among mood-stabilizers, lithium exerts the strongest anti-suicidal activity. A negative correlation between lithium in drinking water and suicides was described. Lithium exerts immunomodulatory and antiviral actions, mostly against herpes viruses. The neuroprotective effect of lithium manifests by increasing the grey matter in the brain and reducing the risk of dementia. Lithium's mechanisms include influencing intracellular signaling and inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3. Using lithium in a greater number of patients with mood disorders has been recommended. Lithium’s introduction into contemporary psychiatry and therapeutic action has been reflected in literature and art.





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