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October 1969

Lithium-Carbonate Treatment in Depression and Mania: A Longitudinal Double-Blind Study

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md
From the Section on Psychiatry, Laboratory of Clinical Science, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(4):486-496. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740220102012

THE PURPOSE of this paper is to present the clinical results of an intensive longitudinal double-blind study in 30 manic-depressive and depressed patients; preliminary aspects of this work have been presented elsewhere.1,2 In addition, we have reported on some biochemical changes occurring at various stages in the course of the lithiumcarbonate treatment of these patients2; this aspect of our work is the subject of other recent communications3,4 and will not be reviewed here.

The therapeutic use of lithium-carbonate in affective disorders has recently been the focus of considerable interest, particularly in light of clinical evidence that it may have beneficial effects not only in mania but also in some cases of depression.5 An additional and perhaps unique feature of this drug is its reported long-term mood-stabilizing properties when used prophylactically.6 If the initial clinical studies can be further substantiated, then the theoretical implications for a