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Brain oscillations in bipolar disorder and lithium-induced changes

Authors Atagün M

Received 16 November 2015

Accepted for publication 21 January 2016

Published 7 March 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 589—601


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Murat İlhan Atagün

Department of Psychiatry, Yıldırım Beyazıt University Medical School, Cankaya, Ankara, Turkey

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.

lithium, bipolar disorder, brain oscillations, electroencephalography, biomarker

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