Sixty years of recurrence prevention in mood disorders
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Uniwersytet Medyczny w Poznaniu
Submission date: 2023-03-17
Acceptance date: 2023-07-08
Online publication date: 2024-04-30
Publication date: 2024-04-30
Corresponding author
Janusz Rybakowski   

Uniwersytet Medyczny w Poznaniu
Psychiatr Pol 2024;58(2):223-236
This year, we observe sixty’s anniversary of the article by a British psychiatrist, Geoffrey Hartigan, demonstrating, for the first time, the possibility of preventing of the recurrence of mood disorders by using lithium salts. Herein, a history of prevention of recurrences of mood disorders both worldwide and in Poland will be presented concerning both lithium and other mood-stabilizing drugs. The merit for verifying the prophylactic lithium effect in the 1960-1970s should be given to Danish researchers, Mogens Schou and Poul Baastrup. In Poland, the first paper on prophylactic lithium appeared already in 1971. In the 1970s, French researchers showed prophylactic activity of valproic acid amide, and Japanese researchers - carbamazepine. In the 1980th, studies on valproic acid amide were performed in the 2nd Psychiatric Clinic of the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology led by Prof. Pużyński. Since the mid-1990s, 2nd generation of mood-stabilizing drugs has been introduced, including some atypical antipsychotics (clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine, aripiprazole, risperidone) and anticonvulsant drug, lamotrigine, showing prophylactic activity in bipolar mood disorder. The studies on lithium resulted in the identification of factors connected with its prophylactic efficacy as well as the antisuicidal, antiviral, and neuroprotective effects of this drug. From a sixty-year perspective following Hartigan’s article, it seems that his pioneering concept on the possibility of pharmacological influence on the course of mood disorders was fully confirmed. Current Polish recommendations on pharmacological prophylaxis of mood disorders were presented in the books „Standardy leczenia niektórych zaburzeń psychicznych” and „Psychofarmakologia kliniczna”, both published in 2022.
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