Potential new bipolar disorder treatment discovered

AN OXFORD RESEARCH team led by Dr Grant Churchill has discovered a possible alternative to lithium to treat bipolar disorder.

The researchers have discovered that an existing chemical compound called ebselen may work just as ef­fectively as lithium, but without the harmful side effects.

For the last 60 years, lithium has been used to treat the condition, but has harmful side effects includ­ing weight gain, difficulty produc­ing urine, and possible mutations during pregnancy. It is also toxic in overdose.

So far, ebselen has been tested on mice, although a study on human volunteers is planned to see whether ebselen will be just as an effec­tive treat­ment as lithium.