Part 2 Mini Series
in lower than normal levels has been found in the cerebrospinal fluid of some
patients with depression, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, Parkinson's disease
treated with the medication levodopa, disorders of folate metabolism and other
illnesses. A review of the research of SAM-e by Richard P.Brown M.D., associate
professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians
and Surgeons has found SAM-e to be more effective than placebo in many trials
for depression and various other conditions.
SAM-e ; What the research
Dr. Brown cited a study of
more then 1400 patients comparing SAM-e to placebo in 13 trials as well as
another 19 trials in which SAM-e was compared to tricyclic antidepressants, and
found it to be an effective treatment for major depression.
SAM-e was also found to be
effective in 14 double-blind European studies between the years 1973 to 1988.
In these studies, intravenous and intramuscular preparations of SAM-e were more
effective than placebo and comparable to imipramine (Tofranil), amitriptyline
(Elavil), and imipramine (Anafranil) for treatment of major depression,
according to Dr. Brown.
In 1988, American
psychopharmacologists Bell and colleagues conducted a double-blind, randomized,
two week trial comparing intravenous SAM-e to oral imipramine. By the end of
the second week, 66% of the patients treated with SAM-e “had a clinically
significant improvement in depressive symptoms, compared to 22% of the
imipramine patients," the authors of the study reported.
Doctor Brown also reported
that since 1988, double and single-blind studies using higher doses of SAM-e
have shown to be effective in treating major depression, depression secondary
medical illness, postmenopausal depression and treatment-resistant depression.
He reported a rapid response to SAM-e in a double-blind trial of 30 depressed
inpatients who received either 1600 mg/day of oral SAM-e or imipramine
(averaging 140 mg/day) for six weeks. "The SAM-e group was significantly better
by day 10. Both groups were comparably improved by week six”. Brown
Another small, double-blind
four-week inpatient study of oral SAM-e (1600 mg/day) versus 250 mg/day of
desipramine (Norpramin), showed improvement corresponding to relevant dosage in
the level of depression in those who responded to either SAM-e or desipramine.
Brown concluded that "these findings highlight the need for larger and
longer-term studies to elucidate the role of SAM-e in recovery from depression
and the use of SAM-e in combination with prescription antidepressants". He added
that the longest controlled-trial study on the use of SAM-e for depression has
been 42 days.
In conclusion, Brown has
found SAM-e to be effective for the treatment of fibromyalgia as cited in
several studies, depression in patients with Parkinson's disease, the aging
brain, liver diseases and arthritis. He also said that SAM-e has been found to
reverse some of the effects of alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis and has been
found to have some use in the dissolving of gallstones.
Investigating SAM-e by Leslie Knowlton and Staff, (Geriatric Times,
Web page and additional
information by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D Candidate
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