Lithium is one of the most specific and effective treatments for bipolar disorder (BD) yet its mechanism of action remains unclear. This has impeded methods to monitor its effects and the development of new medications with similar efficacy and specificity. Our research focuses on understanding clinical efficacy of lithium in bipolar disorder, and its complex effects on multiple brain physiological functions by using a network properties-metric approach. This approach is critical because it provides insight into the function of brain networks (e.g., resilience to disruption, central hubs), which is likely to be more closely linked to behavioral outcomes. Furthermore, the relationship of the neuroimaging effects of lithium and its molecular effects in humans has been studied even less. Our overall goals are to address these important gaps in knowledge by measuring brain functional and structural connectomics before and after acute and longer term treatment with lithium.
2018 NIMH 5R01MH113256-02 Lithium Effects on the Brain's Functional and Structural Connectome in the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Members & Collaborations
Jeffrey Spielberg PhD, University of Delaware