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Experimental Bipolar Disorder Drug May Offer Fewer Side Effects

Posted on February 15, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Bipolar disorder may be considered a disabling condition when it is severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to maintain substantial gainful employment.

The common treatment for this condition has been lithium. While treatment with lithium is effective for many, it often causes unpleasant side effects such as restlessness, thirst, and digestive problems. There is also an increased risk of thyroid and kidney problems with prolonged use.

Researchers have been working on new medications to treat the mood and behavioral changes associated with this disorder, and a recent report from Oxford Universityin the U.K.indicates that an existing drug can help serve this purpose.

Repurposing an Existing Medication to Treat Bipolar Disorder

Grant Churchill and Sridhar Vasudevan of the Department of Pharmacology analyzed existing medications that may be comparable to lithium. Within the U.S. National Institutes of Health Clinical Collection they found ebselen, a drug created to treat stroke but that never made it to market.

Ebselen was deemed safe for human use, but the patent had since expired, and the medication remained unused. The British research team performed laboratory tests to determine if it would be an effective substitute for lithium. Researchers found that use of ebselen could calm mice that were given amphetamines to create a state of mania.

Vasudevan was pleased with the results. “This is one of the first handful of examples of drug repurposing, where a new use has been found for an existing drug,” he said according to theOxfordrelease.

With the positive results of the mice tests, the research team is moving on to a small trial with human patients. Healthy volunteers will be evaluated for any adverse changes in brain function when taking ebselen, and if the trials are successful, a phase two will begin with bipolar patients.

Bipolar Disorder and Other Mentally Disabling Conditions

Bipolar disorder can cause serious mood swings, violent outbursts, or impair activity due to severe depression. In some cases, patients become suicidal and can also be a risk to others. When a mental condition such as this is so severe that it impairs a person’s ability to function normally, he or she may quality for long-term disability benefits.

You Have a Right to Long-Term Disability Benefits

When disabling conditions such as this are diagnosed to have lasted or are expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death, they are often cases for long-term disability benefits. A disability representative in South Florida from Disability Help Group can assist in the application process for disability benefits for bipolar disorder or other disabling conditions. Call today – 1-(800)-800-3332.