Lithium (6,9 a.m.u.) Low concentrations in all the tissues of our body; concentration in extracellular fluid and intracellular fluid are not very different. There is many lithium in eggs, milk and milk products, meat, fish, vegetables. Daily demand is approx. 2 mg. Concentration in soil and water could vary in different regions.

When intaken, lithium is absorbed almost completely, excreted mainly with urine. Patients with chronic alcoholism has lower concentrations of lithium.

Lithium deficit is possible in cases of immunodeficient diseases, several neoplasms and depressions. There are researches allowing to suppose the linkage of low concentration of lithium in drinking water with the frequency of moral diseases and behaviour diseases. Lithium agents are used to treat maniacal diseases. Supposedly lithium increases the reuptake of catecholamine decreasing concentration thereof in neuronal synapses concentration.

There is data that lithium could prevent the suicide attempts.

Mechanisms of lithium biochemical effects are various and include the effect on sodium, calcium and magnesium metabolism, changes of functions of various ferments, hormones, vitamins and growth factors. Side-effects of lithium intakes could include neurologic symptoms, fatigue, apathy, lack of appetite, vomit, unsteady gait, lethargy, weakening and loss of hair.

Acute intoxication causes muscular rigidity, hyperactivity of deep tendon reflexes and epileptic spasms. After acute intoxication with lithium symptoms are manifesting in 1 – 4 hours, causing sickness, vomit, diarrhoea, ataxia, tremor, spasms, depression of consciousness up to coma. Possible hypothermia. Analyses indicate hyperglycaemia, leucocytosis, glycosuria, albuminuria, polyuria and urine hyposmolarity. Heartbeat is damages. All these symptoms are indicative for chronic lithium intoxication. Intoxication risk is increased with dehydration and kidney diseases.

Possible targeted organs of lithium are bones and thyroid gland. There is data on effect of lithium on neuroendocrine processes, lipometabolism and carbohydrate metabolism (insulin-like effect). Toxic dose for human is 92 – 200 mg. Optimal therapeutic response to lithium is not always linked with its concentration in blood, but lithium toxicity always correlates with its concentration in serum. This is why research of lithium serum are being used to monitor a therapy with this medicine.

Long-lasting intake of lithium drugs combined with its accumulation in tissues, reflects the increase of lithium level in hair. Low concentration of lithium in tissues could be caused not only by low level of intake in body, but also with change of metabolism in some pathological conditions.