My watch list
my.chemeurope.com  
Login  

The hunt for a successor to lithium for bipolar disorder

02-Apr-2013

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, published in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN).

Bethany Halford, C&EN senior editor, explains that lithium often is the first-line medication used to calm the highs and boost the lows of bipolar disorder, which affects about 9 million people at some point in their lives in the United States alone. Lithium has distinct advantages over the dozen or so other medications. For instance, lithium is the only medication proven effective in preventing suicide in the mania phase of bipolar disorder. Lithium also is inexpensive.

The article explains, however, that lithium also has drawbacks, with a fine line between the effective dose and the toxic dose. Side effects include thyroid problems, weight gain and, in some cases, kidney failure. In the hope of skirting lithium's limitations, scientists are trying to pinpoint exactly how lithium stabilizes mood and how it engenders those unwanted effects. The goal is development of a second-generation successor without lithium's downsides, and Halford describes how scientists are working to do so.

Facts, background information, dossiers
  • bipolar disorder
  • lithium
  • American Chemical Society
More about American Chemical Society
  • News

    As tellurium demands rise, so do contamination concerns

    As technology advances, demands for tellurium, a rare element, are on the rise. Some forms of tellurium are toxic, so as the element finds applications in solar panels, rubber production, electronics and more, researchers are becoming concerned about possible environmental contamination. No ... more

    Nanowires could make lithium ion batteries safer

    From cell phones and laptops to electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries are the power source that fuels everyday life. But in recent years, they have also drawn attention for catching fire. In an effort to develop a safer battery, scientists report that the addition of nanowires can not on ... more

    Dog's nose inspires new gas sensor materials

    It is well known that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans. For years, researchers have been trying to develop an artificial detector that is just as good as a canine's nose. Now, one group reports in ACS Nano that they were able to mimic a dog's sniffer with graphene-based nanoscr ... more

  • Videos

    Why is Olive Oil Awesome?

    Whether you sop it up with bread or use it to boost your cooking, olive oil is awesome. But a lot of chemistry goes on in that bottle that can make or break a product. Take the “extra virgin” standard: Chemistry tells us that a higher free-fatty-acid content leads to a lower grade, less tas ... more

    Microbots zoom around water, destroying bacteria

    One day, the tiny robot you see here could help clean up contaminated water. In places where potable sources are scarce, they can destroy disease-causing bacteria in its path and unlike conventional disinfectants, the microbots can be removed easily with a magnet. more

    The chemicals we leave behind

    The products we use every day leave behind chemical footprints. Learn how and why researchers are now studying those trails. Mass spectrometry is helping researchers learn more about our interactions with the everyday chemicals we use, such as DEET, caffeine, even medications. In this episo ... more

  • Events
    Conference
    22-08 – 26-08
    2021
    Boston, US

    262nd ACS National Meeting & Exposition

    The American Chemical Society conference 262nd ACS National Meeting & Exposition will take place in Boston, US from 2021-08-22 to 2021-08-26. more

    Conference
    21-03 – 25-03
    2021
    San Antonio, US

    261st ACS National Meeting & Exposition

    The American Chemical Society conference 261st ACS National Meeting & Exposition will take place in San Antonio, US from 2021-03-21 to 2021-03-25. more

    Conference
    23-08 – 27-08
    2020
    San Francisco, US

    260th ACS National Meeting & Exposition

    The American Chemical Society conference 260th ACS National Meeting & Exposition will take place in San Francisco, US from 2020-08-23 to 2020-08-27. more

Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE