Lithium was once upon a time prescribed as a chemical supplement for people suffering from various mental disorders. It was especially effective on patients suffering with symptoms of mania and although new more efficient drugs have been created there is no reason why lithium could not still be used. This, as you can imagine, is rather puzzling. All other psychoactive chemicals are at least reasonably complex and lithium is the only element that has such distinct effect on a subject’s psyche.
How such basic element can change something as complicated as the mind plagued neurochemists for years but now it seems like an answer has been found. While studying worms and their resistance to bacteria; scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered that by removing a gene called BPNT1 the worms would no longer control phosphate movement and lost many of their advanced behavioral functions. The interesting thing is BPNT1 has already been proven to be inhibited by lithium. The new idea is that this gene, also present in humans, when repressed prevents various chemicals getting to the brain limiting both dopamine and prolactin. Other more specialist researchers a re likely to explore this further in mammal test subjects in redder to confirm these results.