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Pharmacopsychiatry. 1987 Sep;20(5):203-7.

Early physiological effects of lithium treatment: electrooculographic and adaptometric findings in patients with affective and schizoaffective psychoses.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, FRG.


Electrooculography allows to measure the fundocorneal potential, a standing potential of the eye, under the conditions of light and dark adaptation. The results are expressed as the so-called Arden ratio. As was demon-strated by others in healthy volunteers, the Arden ratio, on the average, de-creases under Lithium treatment. However, in individual cases it can also remain unchanged or even rise. We have performed electrooculographic and adaptometric examinations in ten patients with affective disorders (DSM-III, 296. XX) and schizoaffective psychoses (DSM-III, 295.70). The criteria for the assignment of patients to lithium treatment were derived from a study by Angst. Arden ratios were determined six times, respectively, before lithium application and after a therapeutic lithium serum level (0.6-0.8 mmol/l) had been reached (cf. 5). The values observed during lithium treatment were significantly lower than those measured before lithium application. Dark adaptation, as measured using an adaptometer according to Goldmann-Weekers, was disturbed under lithium. The potential predictor function of these findings with regard to the lithium response is being investigated by means of a prospective study.

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