Possible Genetic Predictor for Response to Lithium Augmentation in Depressed Patients
New study published in Biological Psychiatry
Adli and colleagues recruited acutely depressed patients who were unresponsive to an antidepressant-only treatment, and augmented their therapy with lithium, the most common medication used to treat bipolar disorder. They then genotyped these patients for variations in the GSK3B gene. This gene codes for the enzyme glycogen synthase kinase 3-beta, which is inhibited by lithium. Mazda Adli, M.D., corresponding author on the project, explains their findings: “[We] found that antidepressant non-responders with depression show a significantly better response to a subsequent lithium augmentation if they carry at least one C-allele as opposed those patients carrying two T-alleles, which is in line with the previous findings regarding this genetic polymorphism.” In other words, patients who carried a specific genetic variation, the C-allele, were more likely to get better with the addition of lithium to their treatment than patients with other variations of the GSK3B gene.
Notes to Editors:
The article is “Response to Lithium Augmentation in Depression is Associated with the Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3-Beta −50T/C Single Nucleotide Polymorphism” by Mazda Adli, Dorothea L. Hollinde, Thomas Stamm, Katja Wiethoff, Martina Tsahuridu, Julia Kirchheiner, Andreas Heinz and Michael Bauer. Drs. Adli, Hollinde, Stamm, Wiethoff, and Heinz are affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, while Dr. Tsahuridu is affiliated with the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, at the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Tsahuridu is also with the Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapeutic Medicine at the University of Bochum in Dortmund, Germany. Dr. Kirchheiner is affiliated with the Institute of Pharmacology of Natural Products and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany. Dr. Bauer is with the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Carl Gustav Carus University in Dresden, Germany. The article appears in Biological Psychiatry, Volume 62, Issue 11 (December 1, 2007), published by Elsevier.
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