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Chronic Neuropsychological sequelae in a case of severe lithium intoxication.

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1
Division of Neurology, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California School of Medicine, 90027, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This case provides data from serial assessments using a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery to assess the effects of severe toxicity on cognitive functioning, the pattern of deficits, and the regions of the brain that appear to be involved.

BACKGROUND:

Lithium carbonate has made a significant contribution to the treatment of bipolar disorder, and considerable investigation has been conducted on both temporary and long-term side effects on the central nervous system. The effects of acute lithium intoxication on the central nervous system have been extensively documented.

METHOD:

We studied a severe case of acute lithium intoxication and associated neuropsychological sequelae. The patient was evaluated twice with a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests within 2 years of the lithium intoxication.

RESULTS:

Comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations indicated persistent cognitive sequelae, including impaired memory, attention, executive control functions, and visuospatial deficits.

CONCLUSIONS:

The cognitive sequelae noted in the case of lithium toxicity are consistent with a subcortical dementia and the findings of other authors. Findings should be explored further in more rigorous clinical studies.

PMID:
9845418
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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