Optimizing response to lithium treatment through personalised and multimodal evaluation of individuals with bipolar I disorder (the R-LiNK study)

Lithium is a gold-standard maintenance treatment for bipolar disorder but not everyone responds, and we lack the ability to predict response. The R-LiNK study (rlink.eu.com) will combine clinical, digital, imaging and biological assessments with routine practice over a two-year period to determine which patients with bipolar I disorder are most eligible for long-term lithium treatment. Crucially, in this study, the decision to start lithium is made by the patient and their usual clinician. Study enrolment begins once that decision has been made, but before treatment is started. The R-LiNK team can provide advice on the indication of lithium, assist with reminders for blood monitoring and support patients with a detailed, regular follow-up throughout their participation.

There are 16 recruiting sites across eight European countries. Dr David Cousins, Hon. Consultant Psychiatrist for RADS Inpatients and Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre Director, is leading the UK’s North East site from Newcastle University, working closely with Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust.

Recruitment to R-LiNK has now closed but we continue to follow up those enrolled.

To view a video on the R-LiNK study from our recent CPD event, click here. For more information or to refer a patient, please contact:

Jamie Rea, Research Nurse
jamie.rea@cntw.nhs.uk / 07970 993 189