Deakin University

File(s) not publicly available

Neuroprotective effects of low-dose lithium in individuals at ultra-high risk for psychosis. A longitudinal MRI/MRS study

journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-30, 03:36 authored by G E Berger, S J Wood, M Ross, C A Hamer, R M Wellard, G Pell, L Phillips, B Nelson, G P Amminger, Alison YungAlison Yung, G Jackson, D Velakoulis, C Pantelis, H Manji, P D McGorry
Objectives: To investigate if low-dose lithium may counteract the microstructural and metabolic brain changes proposed to occur in individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis. Methods: Hippocampal T2 relaxation time (HT2RT) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ( 1H-MRS) measurements were performed prior to initiation and following three months of treatment in 11 UHR patients receiving low-dose lithium and 10 UHR patients receiving treatment as usual (TAU). HT2RT and 1H-MRS percentage change scores between scans were compared using repeated measures ANOVA and correlated with behavioural change scores. Results: Low-dose lithium significantly reduced HT2RT compared to TAU (p=0.018). No significant group by time effects was seen for any brain metabolites as measured with 1H-MRS, although myo-inositol, creatine, choline-containing compounds and NAA increased in the group receiving low-dose lithium and decreased or remained unchanged in subjects receiving TAU. Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that low-dose lithium may protect the microstructure of the hippocampus in UHR states as reflected by significantly decreasing HT2RT. Larger scale replication studies in UHR states using T2 relaxation time as a proxy for emerging brain pathology seem a feasible mean to test neuroprotective strategies such as low-dose lithium as potential treatments to delay or even prevent the progression to full-blown disorder. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.



Current Pharmaceutical Design




570 - 575





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal