Journal de la dépression et de l'anxiété

Journal de la dépression et de l'anxiété
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ISSN: 2167-1044


The Effects of Lithium on the Endogenous Opioid System: A Model for Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Behavior

Décio Gilberto Natrielli-Filho*

Lithium and the opioid system have been studied extensively in the field of neuroscience due to their potential therapeutic applications in treating a range of psychiatric disorders. Lithium's mechanism of action is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve multiple neurotransmitter systems. The opioid system may also be involved, as lithium has been shown to modulate the effects of opiates in animal studies. Lithium is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, while opioid receptors have been implicated in analgesia, regulation of mood and behavior. Studies from the last four decades have suggested that lithium may modulate the activity of the opioid system, and this interaction may play a role in the therapeutic effects of this ion. This review will explore the current understanding of the interaction between lithium and the opioid system, and discuss the potential clinical implications of this relationship. The Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) is a behavior that has been spreading significantly in the adolescent population, especially in the last 10 years, probably due to the influence of the media and social networks available on the web. Lithium would modulate the opioid system in the cessation of NSSI, and the endorphin release mechanism would be more evident as a behavioral reward system aimed at attenuating psychiatric symptoms. The hypothesis described here could suggest the use of lithium for the specific behavior of the NSSI, regardless of the mental disorder in which it appears and relate the action of this medication to a possible effect on the opioid system.