Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, involves pathological, extreme fluctuations in psychological well-being, in both directions. Over years, the mood and motivation of sufferers oscillates from heightened activity, an elevated mood and reduced need for sleep on the one hand to severe lethargy, despondency and constant tiredness on the other. A normal life is scarcely possible at either extreme of these episodes. These phases are interrupted by periods of a normal emotional state, which may also last for years8.
Treatment with lithium is an established therapy for bipolar disorders9. Lithium's antimanic effect has been known for decades, and was first described in the Medical Journal of Australia in 1949. Lithium ions have multifaceted modes of action, which are as yet not fully understood. The assumption is that lithium influences the neurotransmitter systems and signal pathways in the nerve cells10.
Lithium is cited as a possible therapy for bipolar disorders in the S3 guidelines of the German Society for Bipolar Disorder (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Bipolare Störungen) and the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Nervenheilkunde) 11.
The catecholamines (adrenalin and noradrenalin) released under stress reduce the concentration of intracellular magnesium, leading to a higher Magnesium requirement of stressed individuals. Magnesium positively influences numerous psychovegetative complaints such as nervousness, difficulty concentrating, migraines, tachycardia and anxiety. In the brain, magnesium is an NMDA receptor antagonist, and therefore reduces neuronal excitability. Excitatory amino acids such as glutamate and aspartate (NDMA agonists) act via this receptor and increase the excitability of nerve cells.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammation of the myelin sheaths surrounding the nerve fibers in the central nervous system. It is a chronic disease. The myelin sheath around the nerve fibers is gradually destroyed as the illness progresses, so that the transmission of nerve impulses becomes more and more difficult. Multiple sclerosis is incurable, but not necessarily fatal. MS is a relatively common neurological disease among young adults. Its causes are still largely unexplained.
Studies have shown that short-chain fatty acids, such as propionic acids, encourage the growth of regulatory cells of the immune system in the intestinal wall. These can suppress both exuberant inflammatory reactions and the growth of autoreactive cells, which damage body tissue12.
Additional medication with propionates, e.g. Sodium Propionate, can have a positive effect on the progression of multiple sclerosis 12.