If you've ever heard of bipolar disorder, chances are you've heard of lithium. This is the most common and successful drug that combats the symptoms.
The only problem is that it has unsavory side effects.
The drug is called ebselen, and it's already known to be safe. We're talking about repurposing for manic depressive bipolar disorder, where it could reduce the unpleasant side effects of weight gain, thirst and potential kidney damage that patients risk when taking lithium.
Ebselen is an antioxidant originally developed up to phase III clinical trials for the treatment of strokes. It never reached market and is now out of patent — which is perfect for repurposing!
The researchers are a now starting a small study in healthy human volunteers to look for effects on brain function. If that shows ebselen has similar effects to lithium, they plan to move to second stage trial in bipolar patients! This is BIG news!
While we think the main goal would be to find a cure for manic depression and bipolar disorder, we'll definitely take a safe and effective method to treating it. It will save lives until we can save them for good!
[Image via AP Images.]