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NEUROSCIENCE NEWSSummary: A new study reveals the BPNT-1 protein might be the target for lithium’s action.
Biologists find a possible explanation for why the drug helps bipolar patients.
Since the 1970s, U.S. doctors have prescribed lithium to treat patients with bipolar disorder. While the drug has a good success rate, scientists are still unsure exactly how it achieves its beneficial effects.
MIT biologists have now discovered a possible explanation for how lithium works. In a study of worms, the researchers identified a key protein that is inhibited by lithium, making the worms less active. While these behavioral effects in worms can’t be translated directly to humans, the results suggest a possible mechanism for lithium’s effects on the brain, which the researchers believe is worth exploring further./.../