The hunt for a successor to lithium for bipolar disorder
Toxicity problems and adverse side effects when taking lithium, the mainstay medication for treating bipolar disorder, are fostering a scientific hunt for insights into exactly how lithium works in the body - with an eye to developing a safer alternative.
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Saint Petersburg, FL
#1 Mar 27, 2013
It was at an unused kitchen in Bundoora where conducted crude experiments which led to the discovery of lithium as a treatment of bipolar disorder. These experiments mostly consisted of injecting urine from mentally ill patients into the abdomen of guinea pigs. These would appear to die faster than when healthy persons' urine was used, leading him to think that perhaps more uric acid was present in the samples provided by his mentally ill patients. Then, in an effort to increase the water solubility of uric acid, lithium urate was added to the solution. Cade found that in the guinea pigs injected with the lithium urate solution, toxicity was greatly reduced However, his use of careful controls in his experiments revealed that the lithium ion had a calming effect by itself. After ingesting lithium himself (ya right) to ensure its safety in humans Cade began a small-scale trial of lithium citrate and/or lithium carbonate on some of his patients diagnosed with mania, dementia pręcox or melancholia, with outstanding results.
#2 Mar 27, 2013
Thanks Dr Cade
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