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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2010 Dec;122(6):481-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2010.01582.x.

The effects of lithium and anticonvulsants on brain structure in bipolar disorder.

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1
Institute of Psychiatry King's College London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effect of lithium, anticonvulsants and antipsychotics on brain structure in bipolar disorder (BD).

METHOD:

A cross-sectional structural brain magnetic resonance imaging study of 74 remitted patients with BD, aged 18-65, who were receiving long-term prophylactic treatment with lithium or anticonvulsants or antipsychotics. Global and regional grey matter, white matter, and cerebrospinal fluid volumes were compared between treatment groups.

RESULTS:

Grey matter in the subgenual anterior cingulate gyrus on the right (extending into the hypothalamus) and in the postcentral gyrus, the hippocampus/amygdale complex and the insula on the left was greater in BD patients on lithium treatment compared to all other treatment groups.

CONCLUSION:

Lithium treatment in BD has a significant effect on brain structure particularly in limbic/paralimbic regions associated with emotional processing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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