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dl-Phenylalanine versus imipramine: A double-blind controlled study

  • Helmut Beckmann
  • Dieter Athen
  • Margit Olteanu
  • Reinhild Zimmer
Article

Summary

In a double-blind study,dl-phenylalanine (150–200mg/24h) or imipramine (150–200mg/24h) was administered to 40 depressed patients (20 patients in each group) for 30 days.

Diagnoses were established according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The AMP system, the Hamilton Depression Scale and the Bf-S self rating questionnaire (von Zerssen et al., 1974) were used to document psychopathological, neurologic, and somatic changes.

Twenty-seven patients (14 on imipramine, 13 on phenylalanine) completed the 30-day trial. No statistical difference could be found between these two drug treatment groups (Student'st-test) using the Hamilton Depression Scale and the Bf-S self rating questionnaire. Ratings for anxiety were significantly lower in the imipramine group on days 10 and 20, but not on day 30; in addition, sleep disturbances were more influenced by imipramine on days 1, 5, and 10, but not on days 20 and 30.

Separate analysis of psychopathological syndromes as somatic depressive syndrome and retarded depressive syndrome did not show a group difference (0.05 level of significance using a two-way analysis of variance).

It is concluded thatdl-phenylalanine might have substantial antidepressant properties. However, certain methodological considerations still warrant a careful interpretation.

Key words

dl-Phenytalanine as antidepressant Double-blind trial with imipramine 

Zusammenfassung

In einer Doppelblindstudie an 40 depressiven Patienten wurde unter stationären Bedingungen entwederdl-Phenylalanin (150–200 mg/die) oder Imipramin (150–200 mg/die) über einen Zeitraum von 30 Tagen appliziert.

Die psychiatrischen Diagnosen wurden gemäß der International Classification of Diseases (ICD) gestellt. Zur Dokumentation der psychopathologischen, neurologischen und somatischen Befunde wurde das AMP-System, die Bf-S-Selbsteinschätzungsskala (v. Zerssen et al., 1974) sowie die Hamilton Depressionsskala verwendet.

27 Patienten (14 unter Imipramin-, 13 unter Phenylalanintherapie) vollendeten die Studie. Mit der Bf-S-Skala und Hamilton-Skala konnten keine statistisch signifikanten (Studentst-Test) Unterschiede zwischen den beiden Behandlungsgruppen gefunden werden. Die Angst-Ratings waren auf der Hamilton-Skala in der Imipramin-Gruppe an Tag 10 und 20 niedriger als in der Phenylalanin-Gruppe, jedoch nicht mehr an Tag 30. Überdies wurden in der Imipramin-Gruppe Schlafstörungen an Tag 1, 5 und 10 günstiger beeinflußt, jedoch nicht mehr an Tag 20 und 30.

Die getrennt durchgeführte Analyse psychopathologischer Syndrome, wie z. B. somalisch-depressives Syndrom und gehemmt-depressives Syndrom, zeigten keine Gruppen-Differenz auf dem 5%-Niveau (2-Wege-Varianzanalyse).

Diese Studie gibt einen weiteren Hinweis auf mögliche antidepressive Eigenschaften vondl-Phenylalanin; gewisse melhodologische Erwägungen jedoch ermöglichen noch nicht eine eindeulige Beurteilung.

Schlüsselwörter

dl-Phenytalanin als Anlidepressivum Doppelblindstudie gegen Imipramin 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmut Beckmann
    • 1
  • Dieter Athen
    • 1
  • Margit Olteanu
    • 1
  • Reinhild Zimmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychiatric Hospital of the University of MunichMünchen 2Federal Republic of Germany

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