The effects of phosphatidylserine (BC-PS) on cognitive, affective and behavioural symptoms were studied in a group of 10 elderly women with depressive disorders. Patients were treated with placebo for 15 days, followed by BC-PS (300 mg/day) for 30 days. The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, Gottfries-Bråne-Steen Rating Scale, Nurse's Observation Scale for Inpatient Evaluation and Buschke Selective Reminding Test were administered before and after placebo and after BC-PS therapy, to monitor changes in depression, memory and general behaviour. At the same time, basal plasma levels of noradrenaline, MHPG, DOPAC, HVA and 5-HIAA, and GH/beta-endorphin/beta-lipotropin responses to clonidine stimulation were measured. BC-PS induced consistent improvement of depressive symptoms, memory and behaviour. No changes in amine metabolite levels or in hormonal responses to alpha 2-adrenoceptor stimulation were observed.