Posted by deepreason on December 13, 2011, at 6:36:47
My pDoc is currently considering a trial of Lithium augmented Parnate which got me reading about the subject. Whilst browsing Wikipedia a couple of things got my antennae twitching but Im sorry to say I dont yet have enough knowledge to know if they are genuinely significant. I would be eternally grateful if someone more educated than I could give their views.
Wikipedia states that Lithium was first used medically back in the 1900s because of its potential for treating gout, a disease caused by excess Uric acid. The line in the Wiki that really grabbed my interest was:
Since uric acid in gout was known to be psychoactive (adenosine receptors on neurons are stimulated by it; caffeine blocks them).
This got me clicking away to find out what Adenosine receptors were and low and behold:
These two receptors also have important roles in the brain, regulating the release of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate,.
The above may seem a little far fetched to you until I explain a small part of my medical history:
I have suffered from depression for the last 15 years or so.
I have suffered from gout for the last 15 years or so.
Due to an incidence of food poisoning I developed a sudden allergy and had to completely give up caffeine about 15 years ago.
Having tried a swathe of antidepressants from every drug family going, the only one that consistently alleviates my depression are opiates (codeine). I believe these work primarily on Dopamine.
To my uneducated mind this all seems to add up to an almighty coincidence. Is it possible that excess levels of Uric acid (as indicated by my Gout) are interfering with my adenosine receptors and therefore the levels of Dopamine in my brain, an effect that for most people would be mitigated by the effects of Caffeine but in my case arent? Is this causing a maladjustment in my Dopamine levels and therefore leading to my depression?
Any input people can offer would be greatly appreciated and I guess the real test will be what response I have to the Lithium.