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Protective Effects of Lithium on Brain Cells
(revised 2/2005)

Both lithium and valproate cause an increase in bcl-2 in the brainWhat's that?  bcl-2 is a "trophic" molecule. The word "trophic" comes from the Greek root meaning "to feed".   bcl-2 may be like growth hormones for the cell, without which it does not thrive.Ikonomov   "Withering" because of a lack of such trophic molecules has recently been shown to be a probable major factor in the basis of depression.Duman  

Update 2/2005:  This story has continued to develop and now forms Part II of the series of mini-chapters on the Brain Chemistry of Depression.  Start with Chapter 6 to continue the story you were following here.  (All the previous references and material have been re-written and expanded there, including some stunning pictures).  JP