The switch mechanism and the bipolar/unipolar dichotomy
by
Carney MW, Chary TK, Bottiglieri T, Reynolds EH
Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, Middlesex.
Br J Psychiatry 1989 Jan; 154:48-51


ABSTRACT

During open trials of intravenous and oral S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) and a placebo-controlled trial of intravenous SAM in 29 patients, 25 patients had SAM and four had placebo (27 courses of SAM, two of the patients receiving two trials a piece). Nine of 11 bipolar patients (all SAM-treated) switched into elevated mood state (hypomania, mania and euphoria) and two did not respond. Six endogenous unipolar patients improved and five did not. No non-endogenous patient or placebo patient responded for more than 14 days. No unipolar patient switched into elated mood. In eleven (38%) trials and nine (33%) patients there was a switch from depression to elation. Biochemical data from the cerebrospinal fluid of eight patients suggested that the role of the dopaminergic system should be further explored.


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