Lithium has been proved in recent tests to be a safe and efficient element for the treatment of bipolar affective disorders in children, as US scientists have revealed
Even if American psychiatrists say that lithium was integrated into kids and youngsters’ treatment, the lack of important research kept the medication from being commonly applied. Instead, many younger BPD sufferers have been helped with substances used for schizophrenia and other medical conditions that bring negative effects.
Lithium is the predecessor of all medication for bipolar treatment, but the metal has never been carefully analyzed in therapies for kids, as experts in psychiatry and behavior sciences have said in medical journals.
The scientists have tested 80 BPD sufferers between the ages of 8 and 18 and treated them at different healthcare facilities. For almost two months of therapy, 51 were administrated lithium in regular dosage that was increased over this interval if symptoms required it, while the other 29 have been treated with a simple pill.
The participants’ reaction to this cure was estimated using scientific psychological scales. Doctors also monitored adverse reactions such as excess weight, which is a consequence of other standard types of medications for BPD.
With lithium, children’s ratings on the psychological scale decreased on average with five points more compared to patients who did receive the placebo pill. On the more advanced tests, 45% of sufferers who had lithium were evaluated as “significantly improved” and “extremely improved”, in contrast to only 20 % of kids who were administrated a placebo.
In addition, Lithium was proved not to cause severe adverse reactions in people who consumed it, nor important excess body weight was noticed during the entire test. These side effects are expected to happen with many anti-psychotic substances, such as olanzapine and risperidone.
Lithium is among the widely used and analyzed substances for many BPD treatments. Lithium decreases the intensity and regularity of mania episodes, and it may also reduce or avoid further depressive disorders.
Studies proved that lithium significantly decreases suicide risk and it also inhibits future maniac and depressive tendencies. As a result of these positive effects, it can be recommended for a longer period (even between depressive episodes) as a secondary therapy.
Lithium functions on an individual’s neurological systems (on both brain and spinal tissues). Physicians do not understand exactly how it works to balance out a patient’s changing moods, but it is believed to help enhance sensors connections in the main brain areas. These regions are the ones involved in controlling feelings, thinking and actions.
These treatments usually require a few days for lithium to fully make its effect. Psychiatrists will want to conduct frequent physiological tests during these cures because the substance can cause renal or hypothyroid complications. Lithium ideally works when the quantity of the medication in the blood is kept at lower levels.
Physicians will also recommend to drink up to 10 glasses of water and other liquids daily during this treatment and consume a regular quantity of sodium at each meal. Both sodium and liquids can influence the lithium levels in blood vessels, so it is essential to ingest a constant amount during daytime.
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