The British Journal of Psychiatry
Changes in the diagnoses of the functional psychoses associated with the introduction of lithium.
G Parker, M O'Donnell, S Walter


Diagnostic patterns for schizophrenia and affective psychosis were examined for all admissions to psychiatric facilities in New South Wales over a ten-year (1967-1977) period, before, during, and after lithium carbonate had been established as an accepted treatment. While the proportion of functional psychoses to total admissions remained relatively constant over the study, there was a relative decrease in schizophrenia, and a relative increase in the affective psychosis group. Analyses of sub-groups suggested, after controlling for the effects of time, that the introduction of lithium has been associated with an increase in diagnoses of mania and a decrease in diagnoses of paranoid schizophrenia, both for first admissions and for readmissions.