lihtium promotes brain cell divison, working along the same pathway as the DISC1 gene study
it also raises cerebellum glucose levels ameliorating bi-polar mood swings !
i have found my low dose protocols in synergy with the compendium and the BCD effective for this and improving serotonin
the high dose psychiatric lithium protocols are extremely destructive to health, particularly the thyroid and kidneys
“ a single exposure to a lithium level greater than 1.0mmol/L (ed. 2 grams ?) is associated with an increased risk of progressive tubular damage in the following three months and that the higher the level, the greater the effect ”
this is exactly the sort of thing you would expect from the mental health profession, they are as thick as bricks and fundamentally wrong minded
lithium and strontium taken as per the compendium have a synergy giving a steely calm that hopefully reflects improved serotonin
taking vitamin D and strontium strongly reduces the amount of lithium aspartate needed
interestingly serotonin is also essential for beta cell proliferation in the panceas, therefore the above protocols ( and chromium ! ) will help with diabetes
lithium is very variably distributed through the earths crust with the consequence that plant uptake and the amount in water is also very variable, so human body levels change depending on the geographic location
plant matter gives an intake of between 650 and 3100 mg in adults, since this is way higher than what you can get in water, the mineral form of the lithium must target certain pathways favouring lower suicidality !
interestingly rubidium is also an essential trace mineral
there can be high levels in the water supplies of some dry areas, like the jordan valley in the middle east, and parts of texas
if it's not in the water, dietary intake comes mainly from vegetables and fruit study
lithium is useful for fragile-X, it specifically slows down the replication of the mGluR5 (metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5) in the brain
it is also helpful for motor neuron disease (MND) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but i suspect mercury amalgam fillings are a major factor in both
tasmania and western australia may have very low lithium.
new zealand may have reasonable lithium soil levels in the more clayey parts, but i am guessing
the elemental lithium may be about 5% of the weight of lithium aspartate so 1/8th of a 5mg capsule of lithium aspartate (5000 micrograms /8 x .05) gives 31 micrograms of elemental lithium !
a quarter of a capsule would give 62 micrograms !
with supporting supplementation, ˝ to 2 mg of lithium aspartate a day in frequent divided doses has very strong neuroprotective and serotonic effect
it needs to be balanced with co-factors like iodine as lithium displaces, “spreads”, and impedes iodine in the body biochemistry
lithium reducing iodine resistance may be another way of looking at what it does, but iodine is wasted in the spreading process so iodine supplementation is necessary when taking lithium.
see my iodine page in the compendium index.
typical psychiatric dose sizes are 500mg - 900mg of lithium carbonate, which, given lithium is 19% by weight of lithium carbonate, converts to 95mg - 171mg of elemental lithium
i have never known anyone to survive long term on these high psychiatric lithium doses, the thyroid goes and you can get gut problems or IBS
it's not really possible to use lithium sustainably above several milligrams of lithium carbonate or half a milligram elemental a day imo
i have accidently ingested about say 200 mg of lithium carbonate and it made me very depressed !
i cannot understand anyone taking daily these high pyschiatric doses !
well it would knock down mania that's for sure !
in actual fact it has been quite an interesting experience, it did something helpful to the brain, perhaps a bit like an ssri perhaps inducting some growth in certain areas of the brain like the hippocampus
the one 200? mg dose lasted quite a while, say four or five days for the depression to wear off, perhaps this is the way to take high dose lithium carbonate, once every three or four days ?
i am not tempted to take 200 mg again tho !
high rT3 is one side effect of high lithium doses
all lithium is toxic full stop, even in tiny trace amounts. it naturally disrupts cell membrane? biochemistry, and seems to be hard on the stomach, turning off stomach acid.
this in theory, could permit stomach yeast to get away a bit
“lithium induces autophagy by inositol monophosphatase inhibition” study (depletes inositol?)
the inorganic forms of lithium including what is naturally in water and lithium carbonate and products containing inorganic mineral lithium like e-lyte brand are very hard on the stomach, likely decreasing stomach acid
all the e-lyte brand minerals, being inorganic are no good.
HOWEVER, lithium also spreads iodine more evenly in the body and modulates brain biochemistry to act a bit like prozac by increasing serotonin and encouraging new brain cell growth.
vitamin d downsizes the thyroid, but lithium, even though it reduces iodide uptake by the thryoid cells, still promotes them to grow bigger which is goiterous
so if you take lithium, you need skin/oral/dietary vitamin D and iodine
lithium? and vitamin D reduce the uptake of iodide by the thyroid so freeing more for the remainder of the body and letting iodine persist there longer
this maybe is a summer factor for refurbishing the various cell receptors
lithium lyses thryoid hormone in the thyroid, as does excess iodine
i think with vitamin d and iodine the body becomes much more sensitive to lithium, its still needed but in smaller amounts and not as often, maybe three times a day now
lithium promotes Granulocytes and CD34 cells (white blood cells) and also has some complex effect on red blood cells, maybe increasing them at the same time as decreasing blood viscosity which can be useful for depressed immune and and some myeloproliferative conditions
i find the lithium carbonate water helpful for this, though the dilutions i use are almost homeopathic
i think metafolin/L-5-tetramethylhydrofolate and lithium are strongly synergistic for sleep
lithium is a GABA promoter and in synergy with metafolin there seems to be a profound induction of GABA once a certain threshold of lithium intake is reached
mothers of autistic children had low levels of lithium:
Analyses of toxic metals and essential minerals in the hair of Arizona children with autism and associated conditions, and their mothers
The objective of this study was to assess the levels of 39 toxic metals and essential minerals in hair samples of children with autism spectrum disorders and their mothers compared to controls. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry was used to analyze the elemental content of the hair of children with autism spectrum disorders (n=51), a subset of their mothers (n=29), neurotypical children (n=40), and a subset of their mothers (n=25). All participants were recruited from Arizona. Iodine levels were 45% lower in the children with autism (p=0.005). Autistic children with pica had a 38% lower level of chromium (p=0.002). Autistic children with low muscle tone had very low levels of potassium (-66%, p=0.01) and high zinc (31%, p=0.01). The mothers of young children with autism had especially low levels of lithium (56% lower, p=0.005), and the young children (ages 3-6 yr) with autism also had low lithium (-30%, p=0.04). Low iodine levels are consistent with previous reports of abnormal thyroid function, which likely affected development of speech and cognitive skills. Low lithium in the mothers likely caused low levels of lithium in the young children, which could have affected their neurological and immunological development. Further investigations of iodine, lithium, and other elements are warranted.
“lithium's therapeutic effects may be partially mediated through its effects on the circadian system” study
the solaray lithium aspartate is a suitable lithium chelate tho i dropped the aspartate travelling in nz (march/may 2012), not sure about taking it up again, eileen also has stopped using it, she figures the hrt might have enabled her to drop it and i am using about 7µg/L of lithium carbonate in drinking water
( late july 2012, am taking up the aspartate again as it seems to help stop the migraine cycling and also i seem to think better with taking some ! )
the aspartate complexing seems to do the right things with the lithium, taking it to some of the right biochemical pathways.
first when i get a new capsule i tip half into a capsule of lithium aspartate i have previously emptied so i have two half full capsules, it's easier to measure out a precise amount that way
i just tip some into the end capsule so that there is just a bit in the curved part, maybe halfway up to the edge of the curved bit or a bit less less, then tip that down my throat.
more lithium may needed like just up past the curved part, there are a lot of depends.
remember lithium is anti-thyroidal and is hard on the stomach, so theres definitely trade-offs taking it, i only take it three or four or five times a day maximium (10/9/13 down to once a day !)
you can feel when you get too low in serotonin/melatonin by being too ‘ racy ’ , that could be GABA getting too low too
melatonin acts in the brain in a anti-oxidant dimension not covered by vitamin C
i have taken a capsule (5mg) or more in split doses over a day but the effect is depression so i stopped (25/26th december 2007)
“ In this instance, we have already shown that the biochemical changes which valproic acid and lithium bring about in mammalian models represent almost a mirror (ed. reversed) image of the perturbations in bipolar disorder ”
lithium aspartate builds serotonin better while lithium orotate is more of a mitochondrial knock down and while the orotate may build serotonin, the mito knock down effect is too penal especially in terms of letting viruses get away, i no longer use the orotate. magnesium orotate has a similar problem.
lithium orotate is very interfering with mitochondrial function !
a google search term on this page in may 2009 “ i think lithium orotate is dragging me down ”
the synergistic effect of frequent dilute lugols (aqueous iodine) and very low dose lithium asparate is a magic thyroid and anti viral promoter.
though selenium and zinc and manganese and other thyroid synergists as per 'minerals i take' in the compendium index would also be necessary.
it pays to cut back the lithium right back when viral but not completely, you will find a balance point just above too low seratonin from not enough lithium
i think too much lithium is pro-viral
with lithium its the old story, try to do without but need it, i must have a low serotoninogenic system, need that little bit of lithium to tilt things the right way
its better to cut back on lithium when viral, but take enough to keep of the low serotonin edge
the body seems to turn on the serotonin anyway with a virus, it's actually used as a communication chemical by the immune system, important in turning on naive t cells to new pathogens
the pros and cons of dropping lithium would be a more hyper thyroid driving an immune response, but less serotonin may be negative, so i guess there is some sort of useful modulation of the lithium dose during a virus
one of the problems with lithium is it inhibits glycogen synthase kinase-3beta which is a signalling compound promoting cell survival and proliferation which could impact the immune response when needed article (dirk pearson and sandy shaw 9/2005)
on the other hand this could be a wanted effect with myeloproliferation
from an enzymes and autism post :
lithium has a paradoxical effect on the thyroid both improving function as well as antagonising so that a hypothyroid (low thyroid) person i know says she gets a sustained good energy boost from taking three to five grains of solaray lithium aspartate three times a day (0.5 mcg a time?) whereas if she takes more it makes her feel sleepy. lithium spreads and depletes iodine lowering thyroid resistance but since it also depletes then you also have to do iodine as per 'iodine' in the compendium index.
its quite possible that lithium cofactors with iodine and zinc to remove mercury.
however its best not to target any unwanted heavy metal but just let the natural body turnover remove it
i really feel that it is necessary to supplement iodine as per the iodine title in the list if you are taking lithium. also the other thyroid minerals, seleniums, zinc, magnesium, managanese need to be adequate.
lithium is an essential trace mineral and used in these very small amounts is one of the most successful supplements i have seen.
you do have to watch lithium a bit , i think it turns off the stomach acid somewhat. i am taking some before breakfast, mid morning, a while after lunch, late afternoon and before bed.
an enzymesandautism thread (19th july 04)
On Jul 19, 2004, at 8:52 AM, Heather Russell wrote:
I live in Elma, Washington it is 8:51 am. Still in my jammies...LOL. Ethan woke me up just a little while ago. I think the humidity makes him sleepier longer. Usually he is been going to bed at 7:00pm and waking up at 7:00am. I think my curly haired "alarm clock" is going to be broken until this humidity passes :o)
--- In EnzymesandAutism@yahoogroups.com, cathylynn2
Sounds like heaven.... my daughter falls asleep at about 10 p.m. if I'm lucky and wakes up about 4:30 a.m., 5:00 if she's sleeping "late". If she were still sleeping at 7:00 I would probably call the paramedics!
i sleep about six and a half hours, what works best is to sleep an hour in the day as well
its actually more efficent to sleep twice like that and some cultures like spain actually did that or used to.
i will sleep eight hours or more at a stretch if i have a virus so i think its a developmental issue and no easy workaround. cause my brain developed on a state of me being a lot less healthy than i am now its like a permanent issue, its tuned to making me sleep eight hours on being unhealthier so the healthier i get the less i sleep. lithium helps quite a bit though.
there's some very recent research showing that though complex overall, there is a very simple closed feedback loop governing serotonin production
(see "Serotonin receptor: A rheostat in brain for emotion that may be linked to depression" study below)
serotontin neurons make serotonin until receptors on their surface detect a certain level of serotonin in the external enviroment, and then they throttle back the amount they make
meds like prozac (SSRI'S) probably do not inhibit the reuptake of serotonin but damage these receptors so they don't detect so well and the serotonin making neurons under-read serotonin levels making for more serotonin produced
the problem with ssri's is that they affect a lot of other receptors as well and the net benefit compared to microdose lithium is negative
i think the way very frequent microdose lithium works is similar in that it affects the receptors causing serotonin levels to be under-read, hence making more
"lithium decreases mRNA coding for post-synaptic 5-HT1A receptors in hippocampal subregions but not for somatodentritic 5-HT1A receptors in the dorsal raphe nucleus. "
the above quote from the study "lithium decreasing 5-HT1A receptors" below
The microdose lithium, strontium and vitamin D protocol is way less toxic than ssri's or the insanely high psychiatric doses of lithium, but likely has a similar effect to the above quoted study
low serotonin is HELL, poor sleeping and the brain feeling totally ragged
it is also a harbinger of gestational and presumably other forms of diabetes
this is an extraordinary discovery
the rate of proliferation of insulin cells is controlled by the number of serotonin receptors on those cells and the amount of serotonin
“ Because serotonin is made from tryptophan – an amino acid that comes from high-protein foods such as milk, eggs, meat and fish – this result also provides a clear link between the amount and type of protein consumed by the mother early in pregnancy and the generation of islet cells needed to protect her against gestational diabetes late in pregnancy, when the fetal caloric needs are highest. ”
“ Outside the brain, serotonin also is made in the gut and is critical in blood clotting and in liver regeneration. ”
lymes appears to cycle and be neurodegenerative
ouch, below is not pleasant reading, lymes demyelinates, thats why lithium must have helped a woman taking 600mg a day of lithium carbonate intially then later taking 4.8mg (elemental) of lithium orotate (open blooms post 6493)
"MRI scans of brain/c-spine in 3/05 showing multiple areas of extreme dymelynation of white matter in vision centers, speech, as well as cognitive areas. Had to some doctors suggested MS,would have been diagnosed with it but my family wouldn't accept it so convinced me to see Dr. C in 5/05.
Then I finally tested positive 9fro lymes) after sending for results from Ingenex labs. Postive in both IgMs ( *for bands 18, 23-25, 28, 30, 31, 34, 39, 41, 45, 58, 93)and IgG's (*for bands 30, 31, 39, 41, 45, 58, 66, 93) which meet CDC requirements plus an extra 5 bands or so! So much for all the other docs being right about being negative for Lymes and having MS.
Dxd Chronic Late Stage CNS Lyme in 5/05. Don't know if have any of the coinfections as didn't have money to test for them, but llmd is treating me as if have them. When I go to visit his office again in March am going to do tests finally and see if that's part of the problem to why i am not getting better faster."
I take the lithium aspartate 5 mg in the morning and it really helps with the chocolate addiction. If I forget I find myself scrounging the house for someone's stash.
The lithium takes the worst of the edge off the cravings - it makes it more manageable. I understand the part about eating it even when it doesn't taste good. I can eat just a small amount and be satisfied, and not gorge. Still have to have it everyday, but it's not out of control.
I'm taking sprinkles of lithium about 3 to 4 times a day right now. Before giving up chocolate, I could only take a tiny one every day or two at most. Any more would make me feel cranky and down, but I'm not getting that feeling now
i don't eat chocolate because it makes me migrainey so i haven't run into this but searching the web there does appear to be an issue with consuming large amounts of chocolate or caffeine and lithium
chocolate is scd illegal however you can get dark chocolate bar with very little sugar, but i think the toxicology of the cocoa itself makes eating chocolate not worth it, the rush followed by the crash . .
chocolate supplies chromium, so a craving for choclate can indicate need for chromium
i find this water useful for improving sleep and reducing mood swings and anxiety !
it has a distinct pathway of effect of its own and does something that lithium aspartate doesn't do !
the effect is somewhat ssri like, and like ssri's may inhibit the release of glutamate !
milk is high in glutamate, if i am going to drink it, i boil up a2 cow's milk or goat's milk and then let cool to about 63C and add a houston “ afp peptizyde ” enzyme, mix in then add another to make the milk more digestible and less migraine causing !
though i am pretty cautious with milk because it can make me migrainey !
lithium carbonate is sold as a pottery supply for glazes, it's not of pharmaceutical or supplement purity but may be ok for human consumption in amounts of half a milligram or less, or at least i have found it so (i think so : o ) !
the impurities can be sodium, calcium, magnesium, sulphate, iron, chloride and boron which are non-toxic and non-laxative in the very small quantities of lithium carbonate i use
however i am not 100% sure of the safety of the impurity situation, i presume the lithium carbonate sold as an additive for cement has even higher impurity levels
one manufacturers (ceramicware?) specification
purity 99.18%; Na2O 0.1%; Fe2O3 0.0025%; CaO 0.047%; SO4 0.21%; Cl 0.0034%; H2O 0.42%; insolubility in HCL 0.0049%
pharmaceutical grade lithium carbonate has a heavy medal limit of less than .002% and arsenic at .0001%
lithium carbonate is a poison, the usual precautions with keeping the bottle away from children apply
i put a tiny tiny amount in the 5 litre master bottle of drinking water i use, let it stand for 2 to 24 hours first so the lithium carbonate dissolves then give the bottle a good shake and fill my one litre drinking water bottles from the master bottle as needed
while the amount of lithium carbonate that will dissolve in water is inversely proportional to temperature, the speed with which it dissolves is much faster in warmer water, 12 minutes in boiled water and 2 hours in water at 25C and longer for colder water !
lithium carbonate is heavier than water and intially sinks to the bottom where it will slowly dissolve into the water
i don't put the neck of the bottle to my lips as biofilm breeds up on the saliva deposited there, but rather tip my head back and pour it into my mouth
the water solubility of lithium carbonate: 15.4 g/l at 0°c; 13.3 g/l at 20°c; 7.2 g/l at 100° c, yeah not the way you would expect with temperature rise !
on balance it seems to be useful, however too much makes me subtly fatigued, benign and over-mellow, but it does seem to help with anti-viral resistance and make the brain grow
maybe it lacks a bit compared to the lithium aspartate but it does work, however it does/may not replace lithium aspartate, they augment different pathways.
lithium aspartate is essential for sleep and serotonin
i do think the lithium carbonate water and lithium aspartate provide a useful synergy together, or maybe most of the synergy is each with the other compendium supplements?
possibly the amount and frequency of lithium aspartate can be reduced if lithium carbonate water is being drunk
what i really like about lithium carbonate is the way it promotes white blood cells, and possibly neuronal growth, but i don't think it does as much for the sleeping circuitry in the brain as lithium aspartate which helps more with that serotogenic circuitry
i don't put the bottle neck to my lips but rather pour the water into my mouth, using a drinking glass is another approach
to measure such small amounts, i dip the end of the handle of a thin handled plastic airline coffee spoon into the lithium carbonate powder, give the side of the spoon handle several hard taps on inside of the neck of the bottle to shake some of the lithium carbonate powder off, check it with a magnifying glass, and then dip and move the handle in the water to be charged, so it is only what was clinging to the surface of the spoon handle that is going into the drinking water
i used to dip the full length of the spoon basin into the powder, but that amount made me a bit flat and reduced thyroid function, however it's an amount that might suit some
the final amount i have ended up with is an absolute minimal coating of the end of the spoon handle, about 6mm (29/5/12 10ml; 12/6/12 20ml, lightly coated) from the very end of the handle
from the end of that 6/10mm i wanted coated, i wipe with tissue paper up towards the spoon basin so that any extra powder is removed !
a video showing how it is done is a possibility i guess !
the plastic looks like it doesn't have anything on it, but if you look under a magnifying glass, u can see the surface is covered in white grains
you won't understand until you use a magnifying glass, but the measure is actually how much of the plastic surface is covered by the grains and the density of the covering
wiping/rubbing the spoon hard with a piece of tissue paper first charges the plastic with static electricity and this helps coat the spoon surface with more lithium carbonate
it just amazes me how potent a substance this is in the tiniest of the tiny doses (8? µg/L for a 6mm coating length in 5 litres of water = 40µg total) yet does not immediately poison at doses that may be 12,000 times larger for pyschiatric patients
coating the basin end of the airline coffee spoon would give a dose rate (1 mg?) that would be useful for people with violence issues or intractable behavior management problems or otherwise need passivating like spouses or partners dealing with unfaithfulness and don't want to think about it, it has that sort of effect
possibly a dose of say .5 to 2 mg (quite a bit higher than what i am taking) dissolved in water like this and drunk over the day may be as effective as a 200 mg tablet dose which would represent a huge gain in reduced toxicity, but honestly the pyschiatric establishment and in a lot of cases their patients are so thick they just have no understanding of what constitutes a benefit !
to gauge how much lithium i have on my plastic spoon handle i could get my gem scales to measure say 8mg so i had to visually compare that amount to what i thought might be on the plastic spoon handle which might be as much as 200µg of lithium carbonate (200µg Li2CO3 x .187 = 37µg Li) for a 30mm length of airline spoon handle (37/5L = 7.4µg/L)
.037mg over 5 liters or 5,000,000 mg gives .037/5 = .0074 ppm or 7.4µg/L compared to the low end of the lithium in mineral water range of .05ppm (50µg/L) and the product “happy water” in north america with .1ppm (100µg/L)
so i guess that looks like practically nothing, but it does seem to assist a mood stabilising effect for me in addition to the lithium aspartate i take !
this study has some good references for lithium levels of drinking water and says that lithium intake can be greater then 100µg/day from food
to restate how to measure such small amounts, get a plastic coffee spoon with the very thin handle and you just put several centimeters of the handle end in the powder and that's all, under a magnifying glass you can see the powder grains coating the handle and you can tap the handle to remove even more grains, then just dip the handle in the water and move it about a bit !
lithium carbonate may lower blood pressure, it seems to help with myeloproliferation and it promotes the white blood cells/granulocytes
too much makes for flat affect and greatly reduces sex drive which may or may not be of benefit depending
for situations where a reduced sex drive is of benefit without being on damaging medications lithium carbonate water is the way to go
however several months of a higher dose (eg full length dipping of the spoon basin as in the section above) may permanently grow some useful areas in the brain
just a caution, it's used therapeutically for high blood pressure, likely not too much of an issue with the very small amounts i am using, even if you have lowish blood pressure, like me
feeling faint or light headed is a sign of low blood pressure
also, even these very small amounts can cause heart palpitations; magnesium taurate as per the my minerals page in the compendium will help offset this
but i think if you have a hole in the heart or a poor sealing mitral valve or similar you will have to avoid lithium carbonate
interestingly 7-up was a lithia or lithium water, i wonder what the doses were, probably quite high
their slogan was “take the ouch out of the grouch” LOL
so the therapeutic use of lithium was well before psychiatry
the very earliest lithia water formulations were lithium carbonate mixed with lemon and lime juice and sugar to make a fizzing drink, i think the amount of lithium in these was toxically high
interestingly a friend who was in kenya as a child around 1964 says that 7-up was extremely popular, there were tiny african owned tin hut/shops that used to sell it and a few staple goods, lots of billboards promoting it, kids always to be seen guzzling it on the roads
even though lithium citrate was taken out of the formulation in 1950 in the usa, i wonder if they were still using it in africa in 1964 ?
the amount of lithium carbonate i am using probably aproximates what is naturally in lithium replete water supplies, even so there can be significant drowsiness from this perhaps depending on the level of thyroid function, so caution is needed.
there is an extensive literature on the net of poisoning and toxicity problems with the use of prescription lithium carbonate for mania and mood swings in daily doses of 300mg and above, imo these levels are slow chronic poisoning, the amount i am using would be (i am guessing) say maybe 50µg so you can see the vast difference in amount (about .016% compared to a lower psychiatric dose)
why a lithium replete water would have any effect at all is due to the constant nature of lithium intake through the day, in fact it is an essential nutrient in trace amounts
medicine attempts to mimic the effect of a naturally replete lithium water with a single shock dose during the day with the usual consequences, but my years of experience is that the whole scene is so schizophrenic, doctors and psychiatrists included, you just can't tell them, they prefer slow poisoning to doing any thinking and working things out themselves
james g linakis, phd, md, associate professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics, brown medical school says that 10,000 toxic exposures to lithium (presumably from prescription lithium) occur a year (in the usa) with 2000 of those having moderate to severe outcomes
because lithium deprecates iodine, thyroid function can be a major casualty of lithium supplementation or prescription, the compendium has more details on iodine supplementation, however the compendium is a synergy of many different supplements combined with the biofilm carbohydrate diet™ and i cannot recommend an approach of just doing one or two items
this metastudy is talking about large amounts of lithium, but i am of the opinion that my lithium carbonate water also has an anti-viral effect, it does take a tad more than i am comfortable with on a long term basis tho because of its overly mellowing effect which some can live with no doubt!
Antiviral and immunomodulatory effect of lithium.
Rybakowski, Department of Adult Psychiatry, University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland. (2000)
Experimental and clinical data pointing to antiviral and immunomodulatory effects of lithium have been reviewed in the context of new information accumulated in the last recent two decades, indicating a possible pathogenic role of viral infection and/or immune dysfunction in affective illness.
Antiviral effects of lithium, particularly against herpes viruses, was demonstrated in both experimental and clinical conditions. Patients with affective illness taking lithium for prophylactic purposes have a greatly reduced frequency of labial herpes recurrences. The therapeutic action of oral and topical lithium administration on labial and genital herpes was also demonstrated in non-affective subjects.
In both experimental conditions and in clinical studies with affective patients, lithium was shown to exert favorable effects on many parameters of cellular and humoral immunity. The evidence was also presented that lithium may alleviate the immune-endocrine component concomitant to an acute affective episode, such as acute phase reaction, cytokine secretion and hyperactivation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
It is speculated that the antiviral and immunomodulatory properties of lithium may contribute to psychotropic actions of this ionic drug, especially prevention of recurrences in affective illness.