Brain oscillations in bipolar disorder and lithium-induced changes

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NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISEASE AND TREATMENT, vol.12, pp.589-601, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 12
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.2147/ndt.s100597
  • Page Numbers: pp.589-601


Electroencephalography (EEG) studies in patients with bipolar disorder have revealed lower amplitudes in brain oscillations. The aim of this review is to describe lithium-induced EEG changes in bipolar disorder and to discuss potential underlying factors. A literature survey about lithium-induced EEG changes in bipolar disorder was performed. Lithium consistently enhances magnitudes of brain oscillations in slow frequencies ( delta and theta) in both resting-state EEG studies as well as event-related oscillations studies. Enhancement of magnitudes of beta oscillations is specific to event-related oscillations. Correlation between serum lithium levels and brain oscillations has been reported. Lithium-induced changes in brain oscillations might correspond to lithium-induced alterations in neurotransmitters, signaling cascades, plasticity, brain structure, or biophysical properties of lithium. Therefore, lithium-induced changes in brain oscillations could be promising biomarkers to assess the molecular mechanisms leading to variability in efficacy. Since the variability of lithium response in bipolar disorder is due to the genetic differences in the mechanisms involving lithium, it would be highly promising to assess the lithium-induced EEG changes as biomarkers in genetic studies.