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

Eur Psychiatry. 2012 Oct;27(7):518-21. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2011.03.006. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Abstract

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.

Objectives: This study is a secondary analysis of a clinical trial involving the use of adjunctive SAMe for MDD.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: These preliminary data suggest that SAMe can improve memory-related cognitive symptoms in depressed patients, and warrant replication.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Cognition Disorders / complications
  • Cognition Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / complications
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / pharmacology
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / therapeutic use*
  • Self Report
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • S-Adenosylmethionine