Lithium and the application of its compounds in different fields of medicine
Kiełczykowska M., Musik I.
Although lithium has not been classified as an essential element for humans, it can influence numerous metabolic processes and exert diverse effects in the human body, both positive and negative ones. Its actions enable the use of lithium compounds in therapy of different illnesses. It is mostly used for cure of psychiatric disorders: as a mood stabilizer and for intensifying the action of antidepressants. However, its compounds have been also tried in other fields of medicine: as an adjuvant in patients with thyroid diseases undergoing radioiodine therapy, in dermatology, in cure of neurodegenerative and ophthalmic illnesses as well as in tumour therapy. Lithium displays beneficial action only within a determined range of its serum concentration and an overrun of the safe threshold can cause side effects. Due to this fact, the Li serum level as well as many other factors, e.g.: body weight, creatinine, renal and thyroid functions should be monitored during the whole therapy. Many studies were undertaken to clarify the mechanism by which lithium affects organisms but the results still remain unsatisfactory. Nevertheless, some interesting aspects of lithium action have been revealed, including its effect on the enzymatic activity, neurodegenerative processes, apoptosis, formation of cytokines as well as neurotransmission and oxidant balance.
Kiełczykowska M., Musik I. 2014. Lithium and the application of its compounds in different fields of medicine. J. Elem., 19(4): 1167 - 1178, DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2014.19.3.736
lithium, psychiatric disorders, neurodegenerative and ophthalmic illnesses, thyroid diseases, dermatology, side effects and precautions in lithium therapy, mechanism of lithium action