Why lithium so often fails patients

An Australian team have found an important genetic clue

Researchers believe they are closer to knowing why so many bipolar patients don’t respond to lithium treatment.


It’s well known that about 30% of patients are only partially responsive to the drug, more than a quarter show no clinical response, and others have significant side-effects to lithium.

But the underlying biological mechanism behind these reactions has been unclear.

Now a team from Adelaide University say the answer may lie in the patients' genetic makeup.

Professor Bernhard Baune has led a study in which bipolar patients with a poor response to lithium all shared