Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Memory functions and prophylactic treatment with lithium

L. Smigana1 c1 and C. Perrisa1

a1 Department of Psychiatry, Umeå University, Umeå Sweden


Memory functions were examined in a group of 53 patients with affective disorders before commencing prophylactic lithium therapy and then after 4 and 12 months of lithium treatment. The memory tests administered were the 30 Figure Test, the 30 Word-Pair Test, the 30 Person-Data Test (these tests are included in the Cronhoim–Molander test battery) and the 30 Face Test. Three scores were obtained: immediate memory score, delayed memory score and forgetting score. There were no statistical significant differences between these scores before lithium therapy or after 4 and 12 months, except for immediate and delayed memory on the Person-Data Test and the 30 Face Test which showed an increased score of memory functions. The results of this study support the view that long-term lithium treatment with serum levels of about 0·6 mmol/1 does not induce memory disturbances.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Ludovit smigan, Department of Psychiatry, Umeå University, 901 85 Umeå, Sweden.