Variability of brain lithium levels during maintenance treatment: A magnetic resonance spectroscopy study

Gary S. Sachs, Perry F. Renshaw, Beny Lafer, Andrew L. Stoll, Alexander Guimaraes, Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, R. Gilberto Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations


In vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) was used to determine the relationship between serum and brain lithium levels in bipolar patients (n = 25). Over the broad range of serum lithium levels observed, the correlation (r = .68) with brain lithium levels was high. This correlation was much weaker (r = .39) when limited to only those patients with serum lithium levels in the range of 0.6-1.0 mmol/l. This variability may account for failure of lithium prophylaxis in some patients who have serum lithium levels in the therapeutic range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-428
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 1995
Externally publishedYes



  • bipolar disorder
  • Brain
  • brain imaging
  • lithium
  • magnetic resonance spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

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