L-deprenyl therapy improves verbal memory
in amnesic Alzheimer patients.
Finali G, Piccirilli M, Oliani C, Piccinin GL.
Department of Neurology,
Perugia University, Italy.
Clin Neuropharmacol 1991 Dec;14(6):523-36
Altered monoaminergic neurotransmission could play an important role in the cognitive dysfunctions typical of dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT).
DAT is not, however, a homogenous phenomenon inasmuch as two forms are distinguishable: early onset (EO) and late onset (LO). Moreover, focal patterns of neuropsychological deterioration fall into various subgroups. According to our hypothesis, DAT patients, who at the onset of the disease mainly manifest memory disorders, also represent a specific subgroup characterized by impaired cortically projecting catecholaminergic pathways. In a 6-month randomized, double-blind, cross-over study versus placebo we analysed the influence of L-deprenyl on the verbal memory of 19 amnesic EO-DAT patients. Verbal memory was assessed by means of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. The results obtained show significantly better performances for L-deprenyl treated patients in learning and long-term memory skills. We suggest that L-deprenyl, through selective inhibition of MAO-B and by increasing the activity of the catecholaminergic systems, positively influences cognitive functions and behaviour founded on memory efficiency.
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