Mood-independent aberrancies in associative processes in bipolar affective disorder: An apparent stabilizing effect of lithium

Louis Pons, John I. Nurnberger, Dennis L. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Forty-eight patients from an affective disorders clinic were tested twice with a word association test. They gave significantly fewer repetitions of common responses than did 29 normal controls. This difference was not related to subgroup diagnosis (bipolar I, biporal II, unipolar, schizoaffective, and cyclothymic personality), to mood state at the time of testing, or to cycling frequency. The total number of repeated responses was directly correlated with serum lithium level (r = 0.44, p < 0.01, especially in those judged good lithium responders (r = 0.71, p < 0.05). This finding may reflect a normalizing effect of lithium on associative processes in affective illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1985
Externally publishedYes



  • Word association
  • affective disorder
  • lithium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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