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

    Pulling iron out of waste printer toner

    Someday, left-over toner in discarded printer cartridges could have a second life as bridge or building components instead of as trash, wasting away in landfills and potentially harming the environment. One group reports that they have devised a method to recycle the residual powder in "emp ... more

    On the road to fire-free, lithium-ion batteries made with asphalt

    Lithium-ion batteries can be found in everything from cell phones to hoverboards, but these power sources have recently made headlines for the fires they have inadvertently caused. To address these safety hazards, scientists report that they are paving the way to better batteries with a nat ... more

    New sensors could enable more affordable detection of pollution and diseases

    When it comes to testing for cancer, environmental pollution and food contaminants, traditional sensors can help. The challenges are that they often are bulky, expensive, non-intuitive and complicated. Now, one team reports in ACS Sensors that portable pressure-based detectors coupled with ... 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