LITHIUM FOR MANIC DEPRESSION

John Cade (1912-1980), a psychiatrist and medical educator, made a revolution in manic depression treatment in 1949 by investigating lithium. It is related as medical invention that has led to the successful mental condition management which currently influences up to 2% of the world’s population.

John Cade (1912-1980) was a 1934 University of Melbourne medical graduate. His wartime practice during World War II pursuaded him that nutrition and body chemistry were two significant defining features in mental health. Electric shock treatments, lobotomies and Freudian psychotherapy were the main treatments for depression at that time, so Dr. Cade set to looking into chemical alternatives.

While researchnig potential anticonvulsant components in a hospital pantry in 1940, he suspected that salt lithium got a sedative effect when applied on guinea pigs. He examined the drug for side effects on himself and then prosperously tested lithium on patients.

His outcomes were posted in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) in 1949 and it became a revolution the way the world got to know about mental disease, labelling psychopharmacology beginning – the application of drugs to cope with psychiatric conditions. The MJA published in July 2004 that Cade’s article was the number one most cited MJA article.

20 years of struggle was for lithium to become treatment for manic depression acceptance. But the performance of Cade and his fellow supporters found the chance for mental stability for hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Lithium is still the bipolar treatments benchmark nowadays.