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Article
February 1967

Lithium As a Prophylactic AgentIts Effect Against Recurrent Depressions and Manic-Depressive Psychosis

Author Affiliations

Glostrup, Risskov, Denmark
From the Psychiatric Hospital, Glostrup (Dr. Baastrup); and the Psychopharmacology Research Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, Risskov, and Aarhus University School of Medicine (Dr. Schou).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(2):162-172. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730200030005
Abstract

THE SPECIFIC therapeutic effect of lithium in manic phases of the manicdepressive psychosis was first observed in 19491 and was confirmed later in controlled studies,2,3 as well as in a number of uncontrolled ones. A prophylactic action of the drug against both the manic and depressive phases of the illness could be noted in a few of the patients described by Schou et al.2 More systematic and detailed observations of this effect were made independently by Hartigan4 and Baastrup,5 and the term normothymotics was proposed for drugs with a specific action against manic-depressive psychosis.6

In order to demonstrate prophylactic drug action in a disorder such as manicdepressive psychosis, which is characterized by a capricious and largely unpredictable course, one must study a large number of patients who have a sufficiently high risk of relapse and who are observed for

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