Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Lithium, Olanzapine Affect Different Domains in Bipolar

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Lithium, Olanzapine Affect Different Domains in Bipolar

Article excerpt

BOCA RATON, FLA. -- Both olanzapine and lithium can improve cognitive function in patients with nonrelapsing bipolar disorder, but the agents produce benefits in different domains, according to a poster presented at a meeting of the New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Olanzapine (Zyprexa) improved attention capacity and lithium improved immediate recall and organizational capacity, according to the prospective, double-blind, 52-week multicenter study of 358 bipolar patients. Since differences were statistically significant, physicians might consider a patient's specific type of cognitive deficit when choosing an agent, Theresa Bauer, R.N., suggested in an interview.

The study findings contradict previous reports that suggest lithium impairs neuropsychological function, specifically psychomotor speed and verbal memory (Bipolar Disord. 2003;5 Suppl. 2:53-61; Psychopharmacology [Berl.] 2003;170:225-34).

"There is a perception that neurocognition decreases when you give lithium. The literature suggests that, but this study does not," said Ms. Bauer, senior clinical development associate of neuroscience at Eli Lilly & Co., which funded the study.

Researchers initially enrolled 431 patients and randomized 217 participants to olanzapine 5-20 mg/day and 214 to lithium 0. …

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