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

Tobias Gerhard, D. P. Devanand, Cecilia Huang, Stephen Crystal and Mark Olfson

The British Journal of Psychiatry
January 2015
The observational study in this article examines the association of lithium therapy and dementia risk in the largest and most diverse data-set of older adults diagnosed with bipolar disorder to date. It was hypothesised that continuous but not sporadic or intermediate treatment with lithium would be associated with reduced dementia risk whereas exposure to anticonvulsants (a negative control) would show no association at any level of exposure. Compared with non-use, 301365 days of lithium exposure was associated with significantly reduced dementia risk (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.77, 95% CI 0.600.99). No corresponding association was observed for shorter lithium exposures (HR = 1.04, 95% CI 0.831.31 for 61300 days; HR = 1.07, 95% CI 0.671.71 for 160 days) or for any exposure to anticonvulsants. Continuous lithium treatment may reduce dementia risk in older adults with bipolar disorder.

Tobias Gerhard, D. P. Devanand, Cecilia Huang, Stephen Crystal and Mark Olfson. (2015). "Lithium Treatment and Risk for Dementia in Adults with Bipolar Disorder: Population-Based Cohort Study." The British Journal of Psychiatry.



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