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Measuring the concentration of lithium will help treat bipolar disorder

Przełomowe odkrycie pomoże w leczeniu choroby afektywnej dwubiegunowej

Both men and women suffer from bipolar disorder. It can meet us at any time in life, and the diagnosis and treatment of the disease is very difficult. Hope for patients is the latest discovery of scientists. Thanks to the new research, understanding and treating bipolar disorder will be much easier than before.

Bipolar disorder is actually a series of recurring mental disorders, such as episodes of depression and mania of varying severity. Bipolar disorder is very difficult to diagnose, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious consequences. Lack of adequate treatment exacerbates episodes of depression and mania, and depressive episodes usually last longer than manic episodes. According to statistics, 10 years usually pass from the first symptoms of the disease to its diagnosis. This is why every new discovery about the disease is so important to patients.

Lithium treatment for bipolar disorder: new insights from researchers

As reported in the journal ASS Central Science, the method of imaging and measuring the concentration of lithium in living cells can aid in the understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder itself.
Since 1949, lithium compounds, a light metallic element found in rocks, seawater and some mineral waters, for example, have been the mainstay of treatment for bipolar disorder (BD). Although lithium therapy has been around for many years, scientists still do not fully understand how it helps patients or why some respond better to treatment than others.
According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 4.4 percent of adults in the United States will have bipolar disorder at some point in their lives. Research has shown that medications containing lithium can help stabilize mood and reduce risk
suicide in this group. However, about a third of patients with bipolar disorder respond fully to lithium and the remainder only partially.

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One reason may be that the drug has a very narrow therapeutic range: below a certain level of lithium in the blood, most patients do not respond, however, at a slightly higher level, they may experience serious side effects (gastrointestinal disturbances, muscle weakness, fatigue Dizziness, drowsiness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, excessive urination and thirst, metallic taste in the mouth, tremors, convulsions, weight gain).

see also

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Researchers: In the treatment of disease helps to measure the concentration of lithium directly in nerve cells

The ability to measure lithium levels directly in a patient’s nerve cells could help scientists understand how lithium works as a drug and improve its dosage.
Scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan have developed a method for imaging the concentration of lithium in living cells. It turns out that neurons of bipolar patients accumulate higher lithium levels than neurons of healthy controls.
The scientists identified an enzyme that catalyzes the release of a fluorescent molecule from an RNA probe, thus producing a signal only when lithium is present. The enzyme was 100 times more selective for lithium compared to other metal ions such as sodium and potassium, which are found in much higher concentrations in human cells, and was sensitive enough to detect lithium at concentrations within the therapeutic range.
To test their concept, the researchers collected skin cells from bipolar patients and healthy donors, reprogrammed them into stem cells, and then differentiated them into nerve cells. The team treated the neurons with an enzyme-based sensor and an appropriate therapeutic dose of lithium. Using fluorescence microscopy, the researchers found that immature neurons from bipolar patients and healthy controls accumulated similar levels of lithium, but that mature neurons of bipolar patients accumulated higher levels of lithium than mature control neurons.
The researchers point out that the newly discovered method is a promising tool to better understand the effects of lithium
Bipolar disorder treatment.

Source: PAP

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