Navigation Links
Giving lithium to those who need it

Lithium is a 'gold standard' drug for treating bipolar disorder, however not everyone responds in the same way. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders finds that this is true at the levels of gene activation, especially in the activation or repression of genes which alter the level the apoptosis (programmed cell death). Most notably BCL2, known to be important for the therapeutic effects of lithium, did not increase in non-responders. This can be tested in the blood of patients within four weeks of treatment.

A research team from Yale University School of Medicine measured the changing levels of gene activity in the blood of twenty depressed adult subjects with bipolar disorder before treatment, and then fortnightly once treatment with lithium carbonate had begun.

Over the eight weeks of treatment there were definite differences in the levels of gene expression between those who responded to lithium (measured using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale) and those who failed to respond. Dr Robert Beech who led this study explained, "We found 127 genes that had different patterns of activity (turned up or down) and the most affected cellular signalling pathway was that controlled programmed cell death (apoptosis)."

For people who responded to lithium the genes which protect against apoptosis, including Bcl2 and IRS2, were up regulated, while those which promote apoptosis were down regulated, including BAD and BAK1.

The protein coded by BAK1 can open an anion channel in mitochondrial walls which leads to leakage of mitochondrial contents and activation of cell death pathways. Damage similar to this has been seen within the prefrontal cortex of the brain of patients with bipolar disorder. BAD protein is thought to promote BAK1 activity, while Bcl2 binds to BAK1 and prevents its ability to bind to the channel.

Dr Beech continued, "This positive swing in regulation of apoptosis for lithium responders was measurable as early as four weeks after the start of treatment, while in non-responders there was a measureable shift in the opposite direction. It seems then, that increased expression of BCL2 and related genes is necessary for the therapeutic effects of lithium. Understanding these differences in genes expression may lead towards personalized treatment for bipolar disorder in the future."


Contact: Dr. Hilary Glover
BioMed Central

Related medicine news :

1. Immigrant women giving birth in Spain suffer great stress, a study warns
2. Giving makes young children happy, UBC study suggests
3. The Alzheimer’s Caregiver™ Offers a New Educational Concept of Care That Bridges the Gap between Research and Caregiving
4. 3M™ Gripping Material Technology – Giving Golfers a Competitive Edge
5. 1 in 3 post-partum women suffers PTSD symptoms after giving birth
6. Obese Workers Health Care Costs Top Those of Smokers
7. Experimental Gel May Help Those With Advanced Parkinsons
8. Screening for Lung Cancer Might Benefit Those at Highest Risk
9. Cancer screening rates comparable for those with and without rheumatoid arthritis
10. Protecting the hearts of those waiting for kidney and liver transplants
11. Drug shown to improve memory in those with Down syndrome
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... CognisantMD and Cambridge ... imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family physicians can now ... their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant patient entry or ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic ... November 19, 2015, our surgeons performed their 6,000th free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , ... wake up every day excited to rebuild lives and it’s an honor to have ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor ... application server to improve system efficiency and reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 platform ... standards, the system avoids locking itself into a specific piece of software for many ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Finnleo, a leader in the traditional and far-infrared ... traditional and far-infrared saunas. , For traditional saunas, Finnleo is offering ... sauna wood, and Finnleo uses only European Grade A Nordic White Spruce from sustainably ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... European Union (EU), ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, ... (UNON) for the opening of the 5th African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... AAIPharma Services Corp./Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc. ... $15.8  Million to expand its laboratories and global ... The expansion will provide additional office space and ... of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. ... up to 40,000 square feet of expanded development ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... N.Y. , Nov. 25, 2015  Henry Schein, ... and services to office-based dental, medical and animal health ... (GNYDM) Meeting the Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , ... broadest array of open solutions designed to help any ... Click here for a schedule of experts ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV ), ... Chief Executive Officer Antonius Schuh, Ph.D., is scheduled to ... Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference. th ... Palace Hotel in New York ... Mr. Schuh will be available for one-on-one meetings during ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: