Lithium Treatment and Risk for Dementia in Adults with Bipolar Disorder: Population-Based Cohort Study

March 26, 2015

Tobias Gerhard, PhD; DP Devanand, MD; Cecilia Huang, PhD; Stephen Crystal, PhD; Mark Olfson, MD, MPH

Regular treatment with lithium may reduce the risk of dementia in people with bipolar disorder, according to a research team that included Davangere Devanand, MD and Mark Olfson, MD, MPH, who analyzed data from more than 40,000 adults. The study, published January 22nd in the British Journal of Psychiatry, examined records of patients over 50 diagnosed with bipolar disorder. For those who took lithium more than 300 days during a year-long period, dementia occurred less frequently than for those who took the drug less frequently or not at all. Using lithium sporadically or intermittently did not affect the incidence of dementia, nor did treatment with anticonvulsants, no matter how often they were used.


InPsych - March 2015