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Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2001 Jan-Feb;9(1):23-32.

Mood stabilizers and ion regulation.

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Mood Disorders Research Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.


Understanding the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of bipolar disorder is a prerequisite for accelerating the development of effective therapeutic agents and interventions. One of the best clues to these processes lies in shared mechanisms of action of mood-stabilizing agents. All effective mood stabilizers share the ability to attenuate the influx and intracellular accumulation of sodium in an activity-dependent manner. When coupled with independent observations of aberrant ion regulation in mania and bipolar depression, this shared characteristic is potentially significant. A unified hypothesis is presented in which lithium, valproic acid, and carbamazepine are suggested to produce antimanic effects by modifying ion flux and intracellular ion concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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