Lithium carbonate has been used in psychiatry since the 1950's to treat mania and depressive disorders. It is an element with a positive charge similar to sodium and potassium. In cells, lithium interferes with other positively charged atoms important to many cellular functions. It interferes with neurotransmitter production and uptake. Current biological studies are looking into lithium treatment for additional CNS disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
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