Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 81-83

Off label use of lithium in the treatment of Huntington's disease: A case series

1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Parkinson's and Ageing Research Foundation, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Vijay Danivas
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and NeuroSciences, Bangalore - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.105522

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Huntington's disease is characterized by choreic movements, psychiatric disorders, striatal atrophy with selective small neuronal loss, and autosomal dominant inheritance. The genetic abnormality is CAG expansion in Huntingtin gene. Newer therapeutic strategies are evolving to treat this progressive disorder. The neuroprotective agents are one such group of drugs being tried. Lithium has been used to treat Huntington's disease in the past due to its neuroprotective effects. Though the precise mechanism of action is not clear, Lithium can directly or indirectly modulate proteins involved in neuronal survival/differentiation which may account for its neuroprotective effects. We report three patients with Huntington's disease in whom Lithium prevented the progression of chorea and also helped stabilize mood.



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