Lithium study looking for participants

Lithium, and keeping track of its levels 

Lithium, when you first hear the word, you’re probably thinking about medicine or technology. Lithium, being the lightest metal, with a density about half that of water, is found naturally in nearly all rocks, as well as soil and still bodies of water. But the chemical element can also have a major effect on our mood. 

In the 1940s, Australian doctor John Cade discovered lithium to be a highly effective treatment for what is now referred to as bipolar disorder. It works by changing the release of chemicals like dopamine or serotonin in your brain. Although, it is important to keep track of the lithium levels in the body to make sure the treatment is working for the person. But currently, there are limited options to measure lithium levels in the body.  

Modern research on an old drug  

Geelong-based researchers are now looking for participants who have taken lithium to take part in a questionnaire and/or a focus group. 

The team want to have small group conversations to hear from consumers about their experiences monitoring their lithium levels and their needs when it comes to tracking the levels.  

The research team are hoping that these conversations can help shape the future implementation of new technology that monitors lithium levels in patients.  

There is a potential to develop a small portable device, similar to the device used by diabetes patients for monitoring glucose. They need to hear from consumers about their needs and preferences as to how best to implement a new device for monitoring lithium levels.  

Have you or someone you know taken lithium for at least 6 months in the last 2 years? Get involved in this important research project by emailing the researchers below. 

Angela Paredes Castro 

Seetal Dodd