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Effect of lithium and other alkali metals on brain chemistry and behavior

I. Glutamic acid and GABA in brain regions

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Abstract

Glutamic acid and GABA concentrations were measured in brain areas of rats injected with the chloride salts of Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+ or Cs+ for 5 days. Regional changes in brain glutamic acid and GABA were found in animals after lithium, rubidium or cesium, but not potassium, compared to sodium treatments. Increased glutamic acid and GABA levels, caused by lithium and rubidium, were found in brain structures (hypothalamus and amygdala) known to be involved in emotional behavior. Whether these changes are associated with the effective use of lithium and, perhaps, of rubidium in affective disorders remains obscure.

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Gottesfeld, Z. Effect of lithium and other alkali metals on brain chemistry and behavior. Psychopharmacologia 45, 239–242 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00421134

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Key words

  • Lithium
  • Rubidium
  • Alkali metals
  • GABA
  • Glutamic acid
  • Brain areas
  • Affective disorders