, Volume 106, Supplement 1, pp S137–S139 | Cite as

Depression and senile dementia of the Alzheimer type: a role for moclobemide

  • V. Chan-Palay
Section V Special Patient Groups


Depression is common in patients with senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT) and may precede the onset of the dementia; the underlying biological and neurotransmitter mechanisms may be common to both diseases, so far as norepinephrine lesions are concerned. The major routes of metabolism of amines in the brain utilize the monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzymes. Due to the consistent severity of norepinephrine lesions in the locus coeruleus of patients with pre-senile dementia or SDAT and the fact that MAO-A enzyme is the major metabolizing enzyme present in the locus coeruleus in man, the new specific, reversible MAO-A inhibitors may have a place in the treatment of depression associated with SDAT.

Key words

Norepinephrine Mood Monoamine oxidase Presenile dementia Immunocytochemistry 


  1. Agnoli A, Martucci N, Fabbrini G, Buckley AE, Fioravanti M (1990) Monoamine oxidase and dementia: treatment with an inhibitor of MAO-B activity. Dementia 1:109–114Google Scholar
  2. Anand R, Wesnes KA (1989) Moclobemide, a reversible MAO inhibitor possesses cognition enhancing effect in humans. In: Wurtman RJ, Corkin SH, Growdon JH, Ritter-Walker E (eds) Alzheimer's disease: advances in basic research and therapies. Center for Brain Science and Metabolism Charitable Trust, Cambridge, Mass., pp 607–701Google Scholar
  3. Benedetti MS, Dostert P (1989) Monoamine oxidase, brain ageing and degenerative disease. Biochem Pharmacol 38:555–561Google Scholar
  4. Birkmayer W, Yahr M (1978) Deprenyl, an inhibitor of MAO-type B in the treatment of parkinsonism. J Neural Transm 43:3–4Google Scholar
  5. Chan-Palay V (1990) Depression and senile dementia of the Alzheimer type; catecholamine changes in the locus coeruleus — basis for therapy. Dementia 1:253–262Google Scholar
  6. Chan-Palay V (1991) Depression and dementia in Parkinson's disease-catecholamine changes in the locus coeruleus — basis for therapy. Dementia 2:7–17Google Scholar
  7. Chan-Palay V, Asan E (1989a) Quantitation of catecholamine neurons in the locus coeruleus in human brains or normal young and older adults and in depression. J Comp Neurol 287:357–372Google Scholar
  8. Chan-Palay V, Asan E (1989b) Alterations in Catecholamine Neurons of the Locus Coeruleus in Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type and in Parkinson's Disease With and Without Dementia and Depression. J Comp Neurol 287:373–392Google Scholar
  9. Glover V, Sandler M, Owen F, Riley GJ (1977) Dopamine is a monoamine oxidase B substrate in man. Nature 265:80–81Google Scholar
  10. Gottfries CG (1985) Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia: biochemical characteristics and aspects of treatment. Psychopharmacology 86:245–252Google Scholar
  11. Hasegawa K (1979) Aspects of community health care of the elderly in Japan. Int J Ment Health 8:36–49Google Scholar
  12. Kabins D, Gershon S (1990) Potential applications for MAO-B inhibitors. Dementia 1:323–348Google Scholar
  13. Priest RG (ed) (1989) Depression and reversible monoamine oxidase inhibitors — new perspectives. Br J Psychiatry 155:4–84Google Scholar
  14. Reifler BV, Larson E, Hanlet R (1982) Co-existence of cognitive impairment and depression in geriatric outpatients. Am J Psychiatry 139:623–626Google Scholar
  15. Rubin EH, Zorumski CF, Burke WJ (1988) Overlapping symptoms of geriatric depression and Alzheimer type dementia. Hosp Community Psychiatry 39:1074–1079Google Scholar
  16. Sandler M, Glover V (1988) Monoamine oxidase inhibitors in Parkinson's disease In: Calne DB (ed) Drugs for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Smith JS, Kiloch LG (1981) The investigation of dementia: results in 200 consecutive admissions. Lancet I:824–827Google Scholar
  18. Sunderland T, Tariot PN, Cohen RM, Newhouse PA, Mellow PA, Mueller EA, Murphy DL (1987) Dose-dependent effects of deprenyl on CSF monoamine metabolites in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Psychopharmacology 91:293–296Google Scholar
  19. Westlund KN, Denney RN, Rosa RM, Abell CW (1989) Localization of distinct monoaminooxidase A and monoaminooxidase B cell populations in human brainstem. Neuroscience 25:439–456Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Chan-Palay
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurology ClinicUniversity HospitalZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations