ADA Technologies, Inc. (ADA) received a $189,886 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop a home lithiummonitor for use by patients with bipolar disorder. The testing tool would allow reliable, routine at-home monitoring of blood lithium concentrations, enabling individuals with bipolar disorder to conveniently and effectively manage their care.
Effective treatment of bipolar disorder, an inherited disease that affects 5.7 million adult Americans (www.mentalhealth.com), is dependent on maintaining a lithium blood concentration that falls within a narrow range. Current monitoring methods are not amenable to home use by a patient, making it difficult for patients to know when their levels fall outside of this narrow range.
Testing lithium concentration in blood is extremely challenging due to the interference of sodium. ADA’s research program will overcome this problem and produce a prototypical device for testing lithium blood concentrations.
“A home-based testing tool will enable patients to monitor their lithium blood concentrations daily and adjust their medication accordingly,” said Kent Henry, Ph.D., ADA senior scientist and principal investigator on the project. “Just as home monitoring of blood sugar levels enables diabetics to manage their health, individuals with bipolar disorder will be better equipped to manage their health and overall well-being.”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder is the third leading cause of death in the 15-24 age bracket and the sixth leading cause of disability in the 15-44 age bracket.