Michael J. Gitlin, MD, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Michael Bauer, MD, PhD, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
The International Journal of Bipolar Disorders presents the Collection on Controversies around Lithium. Without a doubt, lithium is an essential medication for people with bipolar disorders and represents the most valuable treatment option in the prophylactic treatment for more than seven decades. From a historical perspective, since its establishment in the field of clinical psychopharmacology in the mid of the 20th century, several new aspects have been discovered in basic and clinical research, including anti-suicidal and antidepressant effects when used as an augmentation strategy. There is ample evidence that the capability of lithium long-term treatment to reduce the suicidal risk distinguishes it from the other mood stabilizers used in bipolar disorder. However, although studied for decades, there are still a lot of open questions around lithium. This thematic series is centred on unanswered concerns. The ultimate goal is to assist in unravelling the biological mechanisms behind lithium’s clinical effects in order to enhance diagnosis and therapy of bipolar disorders.
Image credit: Michael Bauer