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Lithium is a glutamate agonist/NMDA stimulator

Posted by Jay2112 on December 18, 2021, at 21:31:18

Just going over some of the excellent free tutorials
at (donation/membership drug companies/no scientologists...etc)

Lithium, and lamotragine as well, are initially agonists at glutamate receptors and they stimulate the NMDA receptor (actually, a sub-receptor of glutamate). But, the chronic administration of both lithium and lamotragine down-regulates the glutamate receptor and it's sub-type. In a way, like the SRI's are proposed to do to serotonin.
The dose is proportional, meaning smaller doses may not quite downregulate NMDA as much as higher doses. I read that the small amount of lithium many take with an antidepressant may stimulate glutamate mildly, and help slightly lift depression. (Again, it is all likely much more complicated, but is a theory we must consider.)

Just think, if we stomped out glutamate to extremely low levels, we must remember glutamate *does* serve a function in arousing many brain functions. Many, like I, find that low doses of lithium has a very profound antidepressant effect, but I cannot tolerate high doses. Same goes with lamotragine. I have also had a positive response to the pro-glutamate stimulant provigil. Too much, though, and I become unstable. But, in another twist, glutamate is responsible in production of the inhibitory, calming NT GABA. On an interesting note, I think that the combination of the pro-GABA effects of Nardil with it's MAOI-A properties are why Nardil is so effective in treatment of both anxiety and depression.

My pointing out of things such as this, and my paradoxical (depressive) response to magnesium, demonstrate (yes, this is subjective, but with some research and knowledge behind it) that all-or-nothing thinking and theory is not always 100 percent applicable to every person that takes said drug.

One of the most common theories that the general public seems to hold is that, simply, antidepressants "increase" serotonin, when (as most of you know) the science behind it is much, much more complex and intricate.

Check out the above website, if you haven't. It is geared towards pdocs getting CMA credits, but for those of us with at least some psychopharmalogical
knowledge, it is quite interesting.

I am currently experimenting with mild pro-cholinergic substances, mild glutamate agonists, to help with usual 5-HT and dopamine antagonists/agonists. To me, I don't think the we look to establishing some sort of balance in psychopharmacology, and we are finding micro-dosing of numerous psych meds with unique properties can have very interesting, efficacious responses in relieving various forms of depression and anxiety.

I am trying to use this knowledge in working with clients in addictions and mental health. (Concurrent Disorders.) Many of these poor folks are simply offered an antidepressant in treating these disorders (and lucky if they can get on/afford methadone or suboxone). Psychiatrists are very highly reluctant to prescribe benzo's and stims because of the so-called 'abuse' potential...sorry, but this kind of conservative thinking leaves out highly efficacious relief from torturous psychiatric conditions.

Just, IMHO, YMMV, etc...

Thoughts, please?? :)


Humans punish themselves endlessly
for not being what they believe they should be.
-Don Miguel Ruiz-




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