Effect of selegiline on cognitive functions in Parkinson's disease

J Assoc Physicians India. 1999 Aug;47(8):784-6.


Background: Selegiline hydrochloride, a selective MAO-B inhibitor is known to improve motor functions in Parkinson's disease (PD). The present study was undertaken to study the effect of selegiline on memory and intelligence of PD patients.

Material and method: Thirty two patients of PD were divided in two groups: selegiline group (n = 17) received 10 mg selegiline per day and control group (n = 15) did not receive selegiline. Patients receiving trihexyphenidyl and selegiline were excluded. All other treatment remained unchanged. All patients were examined at baseline and after three months for change in UPDRS score, WAIS score, memory test and P300.

Results: Patients in selegiline group had less severe disease (UPDRS score 24.11 +/- 14.07) as compared to controls (UPDRS score 40.53 +/- 18.52). There was significant improvement in UPDRS score (p < 0.05), WAIS (p < 0.001) and memory (p < 0.001) in selegiline group. In the control group there was a significant prolongation of P300 latency (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The study suggests that selegiline improves memory functions and intelligence in PD patients in addition to motor functions. It also prevents prolongation of P300 latency which is a marker of cognitive function.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiparkinson Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intelligence / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / drug effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology
  • Selegiline / adverse effects
  • Selegiline / therapeutic use*


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Selegiline