This work was supported by awards from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD), the Theodore and Vada Stanley foundation, the Harvard Suicide foundation, and the Italian National Research Council (L. Tondo); by the North Star Fund and the Charles A. Dana Foundation (K.R. Jamison); and by NIH Grant MH-47370 and awards form the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation, and the Adam Corneel, Vivian Temte, Richard Wahlin, and Anonymous Donor Neuropharmacology Research Funds at the McLean Laboratoratories for Psychiatric Research (R.J. Baldessarini).
Effect of Lithium Maintenance on. Suicidal Behavior in Major Mood Disordersa
Article first published online: 17 DEC 2006
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume 836, Neurobiology of Suicide, The : From the Bench to the Clinic pages 339–351, December 1997
How to Cite
TONDO, L., JAMISON, K. R. and BALDESSARINI, R. J. (1997), Effect of Lithium Maintenance on. Suicidal Behavior in Major Mood Disorders. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 836: 339–351. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1997.tb52369.x
- Issue published online: 17 DEC 2006
- Article first published online: 17 DEC 2006
Abstract We reviewed evidence of a possible antisuicide action of lithium maintenance treatment in mood disorders. Of 28 published studies involving over 17,000 patients with major affective illnesses, most yielded supportive evidence: risk of suicides and attempts averaged 3.2 versus 0.37 per 100 patient-years without versus with lithium (8.6-fold difference). In a new study of 284 bipolar I- and II-disordered patients, corresponding rates (2.2 vs. 0.39/100 patient-years) differed by 5.6-fold (p< 0.001); moreover, after disocontinuing lithium rates of suicidal acts rose by 7-fold (16-fold within the first year), and fatalities increased by nearly 9-fold. Lithium maintenance treatment in recurring major mood disorders has strong evidence of antisuicide effects not demonstrated with any other mood stabilizer. Close association of suicide and depression in bipolar disorder emphasizes the need for improved identification and treatment of bipolar depression.