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Brain Amine Concentrations after Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor Administration

Br Med J 1972; 1 doi: (Published 01 January 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;1:17
  1. A. B. Bevan Jones,
  2. C. M. B. Pare,
  3. W. J. Nicholson,
  4. Kathleen Price,
  5. R. S. Stacey


    The concentrations of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT), noradrenaline, and dopamine were estimated post mortem in brain stem, hypothalamus, and caudate nucleus in 33 patients who had been treated with isocarboxazid, clorgyline, or tranylcypromine and 11 controls. Similar and highly significant increases in 5HT and noradrenaline concentration occurred with all three drugs. The distribution was unimodal, but about a quarter of the patients showed only a small increase in brain amines. Tranylcypromine seemed to have a significantly greater effect on dopamine in caudate nucleus and hypothalamus compared with isocarboxazid and clorgyline. In the doses used chlorpromazine did not reduce the amine concentrations. Four patients with Parkinson's syndrome had low concentrations of dopamine in caudate nucleus in spite of monoamine oxidase inhibitor administration.