PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Lithium in the brain

Neutrons show accumulation of antidepressant in brain

2013-09-26
(Press-News.org) This news release is available in German.

At present lithium is most popular for its use in rechargeable batteries. But for decades now, lithium has also been used to treat various psychological diseases such as depressions, manias and bipolar disorders. But, the exact biological mode of action in certain brain regions has hardly been understood. It is well known that lithium lightens moods and reduces aggression potential.

Because it is so hard to dose, doctors have been reluctant to prescribe this "universal drug". Nonetheless, a number of international studies have shown that a higher natural lithium content in drinking water leads to a lower suicide rate in the general population. Lithium accumulates in the brains of untreated people, too. This means that lithium, which has so far been regarded as unimportant, could be an essential trace element for humans.

Lithium detection with neutrons

This is what Josef Lichtinger is studying in his doctoral thesis at the Chair for Hadron and Nuclear Physics (E12) at the Technische Universität München. From the Institute for Forensic Medicine at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (LMU) he received tissue samples taken from patients treated with lithium, untreated patients and healthy test persons. The physicist exposed these to a focused cold neutron beam of greatest intensity at the measuring station for prompt gamma activation analysis at FRM II.

Lithium reacts with neutrons in a very specific manner and decays to a helium and a tritium atom. Using a special detector developed by Josef Lichtinger, traces as low as 0.45 nanograms of lithium per gram of tissue can be measured. "It is impossible to make measurements as precise as those using the neutrons with any other method," says Jutta Schöpfer, forensic scientist at the LMU in charge of several research projects on lithium distribution in the human body.

Lithium concentrates at the nerve-tract

Lichtinger's results are surprising: Only in the samples of a depressive patient treated with lithium did he observe a higher accumulation of lithium in the so-called white matter. This is the area in the brain where nerve tracts run. The lithium content in the neighboring grey matter was 3 to 4 times lower. Lithium accumulation in white matter was not observed in a number of untreated depressive patients. This points to the fact that lithium does not work in the space between nerve cells, like other psychotropic drugs, but within the nerve tracts themselves.

In a next step Josef Lichtinger plans to examine further tissue samples at TUM's Research Neutron Source in order to confirm and expand his results. The goal is a space-resolved map showing lithium accumulation in the brain of a healthy and a depressive patient. This would allow the universal drug lithium to be prescribed for psychological disorders with greater precision and control. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).



INFORMATION:

Publication:

J. Lichtinger et. al, „Position sensitive measurement of lithium traces in brain tissue with neutrons“, Med. Phys. 40, 023501 (2013) – DOI: 10.1118/1.4774053



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Getting better together: New study looks at shared medical decision making

2013-09-26
Rosemont, Ill.–Shared decision making refers to a set of principles that can be employed by patients and their physicians to explicitly incorporate patient preferences and values into clinical decision making. Past research shows that patients, who have an enhanced knowledge of their medical conditions and treatment alternatives, demonstrate a reduced anxiety when it comes to medical decision making. A recent study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery looked at a group of patients with advanced hip and knee osteoarthritis and found that they reached an informed treatment ...

Texas colleges surveyed on sexual assault resources

2013-09-26
HUNTSVILLE, TX -- While research consistently estimates that one in every four women in higher education will experience rape or attempted rape during their college careers, limited proactive approaches to address the issue are found on Texas college campuses, according to the Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University. A study of 74 two-and four-year institutions of higher education in Texas, published by the Crime Victims' Institute, found that while campuses have made strides in addressing sexual assault, efforts continue to be necessary to prevent and ...

'Watch' cites concerns with intraprosthetic dislocation of dual-mobility hip implants

2013-09-26
Needham, MA.–JBJS Case Connector, an online case journal published by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, has issued a "Watch" regarding early intraprosthetic dislocation with dual-mobility hip implants. The "Watch" is based on two case reports published in the September 25th issue, in addition to recent cases in the orthopaedic literature pointing to similar problems. In both cases of early intraprosthetic dislocation described in this issue of JBJS Case Connector, surgeons chose a mix-and-match strategy to minimize surgical complexity and bone loss and to maximize ...

Aphasia and bilingualism: Using one language to relearn another

2013-09-26
This news release is available in French. In the era of globalization, bilingualism is becoming more and more frequent, and it is considered a plus. However, can this skill turn into a disadvantage, when someone acquires aphasia? More precisely, if a bilingual person suffers brain damage (i.e. stroke, head trauma, dementia) and this results in a language impairment called aphasia, then the two languages can be disrupted, thus increasing the challenge of language rehabilitation. According to Dr. Ana Inés Ansaldo, researcher at the Research Centre of the Institut universitaire ...

Can traumatic brain injury impair a child's working memory?

2013-09-26
New Rochelle, NY, September 26, 2013—Traumatic brain injury (TBI) during childhood can have long-term effects on cognitive and psychosocial functioning, including poor academic achievement. Pediatric TBI can cause significant deficits in working memory, as demonstrated in a study published in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Neurotrauma website at http://www.liebertpub.com/neu. Working memory is the ability to collect, retain, and use information needed to perform ...

Beautiful brushstrokes drawn from data

2013-09-26
A good painter uses simple strokes of a brush to bring texture, contrast and depth to a blank canvas. In comparison, computer programs can have difficulty reproducing the complex and varied forms of brushstrokes, and often require painstaking effort to mimic a brief sweep of paint. Now, a team of researchers including scientists at Princeton University has developed a program that allows graphic artists to quickly and easily produce realistic brushstrokes on their computers. Called RealBrush, the program combines graphics algorithms with "Big Data" storage and retrieval ...

Penn researchers use Facebook data to predict users' age, gender and personality traits

2013-09-26
In the age of social media, people's inner lives are increasingly recorded through the language they use online. With this in mind, an interdisciplinary group of University of Pennsylvania researchers is interested in whether a computational analysis of this language can provide as much, or more, insight into their personalities as traditional methods used by psychologists, such as self-reported surveys and questionnaires. In a recent study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, 75,000 people voluntarily completed a common personality questionnaire through a Facebook application ...

NASA views a transitioning Tropical-Storm Pabuk

2013-09-26
Typhoon Pabuk weakened and the core of the storm was changing from a warm core tropical system to a cold core low pressure system as it continued paralleling the coast of Japan on Sept. 26. NASA's Aqua satellite provided a visible image of the transforming storm that had lost its eye. On Sept. 26, 2013 at 03:55 UTC/Sept. 25 at 11:55 p.m. EDT, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Pabuk skirting eastern Japan. MODIS imagery also showed a steady influx of cold air stratocumulus ...

Future sea level rises should not restrict new island formation in the Maldives

2013-09-26
The continued accumulation of sand within the iconic ring-shaped reefs inside Maldivian atolls could provide a foundation for future island development new research suggests. Islands like the Maldives are considered likely to be the first to feel the effects of climate change induced sea level rise, with future island growth essential to counter the threat of rising sea levels. The study published in the journal Geology, and carried out by researchers from the University of Exeter in collaboration with the University of Auckland, James Cook University, the National Institute ...

Scripps research institute scientists discover important wound-healing process

2013-09-26
LA JOLLA, CA -- September 26, 2013 -- Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered an important process by which special immune cells in the skin help heal wounds. They found that these skin-resident immune cells function as "first responders" to skin injuries in part by producing the molecule known as interleukin-17A (IL-17A), which wards off infection and promotes wound healing. "This appears to be a critical and unique component of mammals' defense against skin wounds, and we hope that it will point the way towards better therapies for people ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Scientists model 'true prevalence' of COVID-19 throughout pandemic

New breakthrough to help immune systems in the fight against cancer

Through the thin-film glass, researchers spot a new liquid phase

Administering opioids to pregnant mice alters behavior and gene expression in offspring

Brain's 'memory center' needed to recognize image sequences but not single sights

Safety of second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines after first-dose allergic reactions

Changes in disparities in access to care, health after Medicare eligibility

Use of high-risk medications among lonely older adults

65+ and lonely? Don't talk to your doctor about another prescription

Exosome formulation developed to deliver antibodies for choroidal neovascularization therapy

Second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose found safe following allergic reactions to first dose

Plant root-associated bacteria preferentially colonize their native host-plant roots

Rare inherited variants in previously unsuspected genes may confer significant risk for autism

International experts call for a unified public health response to NAFLD and NASH epidemic

International collaboration of scientists rewrite the rulebook of flowering plant genetics

Improving air quality reduces dementia risk, multiple studies suggest

Misplaced trust: When trust in science fosters pseudoscience

Two types of blood pressure meds prevent heart events equally, but side effects differ

New statement provides path to include ethnicity, ancestry, race in genomic research

Among effective antihypertensive drugs, less popular choice is slightly safer

Juicy past of favorite Okinawan fruit revealed

Anticipate a resurgence of respiratory viruses in young children

Anxiety, depression, burnout rising as college students prepare to return to campus

Goal-setting and positive parent-child relationships reduce risk of youth vaping

New research identifies cancer types with little survival improvements in adolescents and young adul

Oncotarget: Replication-stress sensitivity in breast cancer cells

Oncotarget: TERT and its binding protein: overexpression of GABPA/B in gliomas

Development of a novel technology to check body temperature with smartphone camera

The mechanics of puncture finally explained

Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado's subalpine forests

[Press-News.org] Lithium in the brain
Neutrons show accumulation of antidepressant in brain