Effects of S-adenosylmethionine augmentation of serotonin-reuptake inhibitor antidepressants on cognitive symptoms of major depressive disorder

Psychiatry Department, Shalvata Mental Health Center, Tel Aviv University, Hamargoa 4, POB 94, Tel Aviv, Israel
European Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.44). 06/2011; 27(7):518-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2011.03.006
Source: PubMed


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is often accompanied by significant cognitive impairment, and there are limited interventions specific to this particular symptom. S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a naturally occurring molecule which serves as a major methyl-donor in human cellular metabolism, is required for the synthesis and maintenance of several neurotransmitters that have been implicated in the pathophysiology and treatment of cognitive dysfunction in MDD.
This study is a secondary analysis of a clinical trial involving the use of adjunctive SAMe for MDD.
Forty-six serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SRI) non-responders with MDD enrolled in a 6-week, double-blind, randomized trial of adjunctive oral SAMe were administered the self-rated cognitive and physical symptoms questionnaire (CPFQ), a validated measure of cognitive as well as physical symptoms of MDD, before and after treatment.
There was a greater improvement in the ability to recall information (P=0.04) and a trend towards statistical significance for greater improvement in word-finding (P=0.09) for patients who received adjunctive SAMe than placebo. None of the remaining five items reached statistical significance.
These preliminary data suggest that SAMe can improve memory-related cognitive symptoms in depressed patients, and warrant replication.

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    • "Another compound currently under investigation for its pro-cognitive potential is S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), a major methyl-donor required for the synthesis of several neurotransmitters. Preliminary encouraging results have been provided by a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 6 week trial on 40 SSRI-resistant outpatients with MDD [156]. Participants allocated to SAMe therapy showed significant improvements in recall and word-finding scores on the self-rated Cognitive and Physical Symptoms Questionnaire (CPFQ) compared to placebo. "
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