Thursday, January 03, 2008

Lithium and mood disorders in older adults

Mood disorders are a major cause of illness and disability among older people. Although lithium has been shown to be effective in preventing and treating bipolar disorder in younger people its effectiveness has not been thoroughly investigated in older adults with depression and bipolar disorder. An Israeli study of 60 people over 60 compared participants' mental health before and after beginning treatment with lithium. The researchers found that lithium brought about significant reductions in the frequency, duration and severity of depressive and manic relapses, the rate and duration of hospitalizations, and suicidal behaviour.

Lepkifker, Elie ... [et al] - Lithium therapy for unipolar and bipolar depression among the middle-aged and older adult subpopulation Depression and Anxiety 24(8), 571-576

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