S-adenosylmethionine blood levels in major depression: changes with drug treatment

Acta Neurol Scand Suppl. 1994;154:15-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.1994.tb05404.x.


Introduction: The relationship between plasma levels of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), an endogenous methyl donor, and clinical response were studied in patients with a DSM-III-R diagnosis of major depression.

Material and methods: A double-blind randomized protocol comparing oral SAMe with oral desipramine, involving a total of 26 patients, was employed.

Results: At the end of the 4-week trial, 62% of the patients treated with SAMe and 50% of the patients treated with desipramine had significantly improved. Regardless of the type of treatment, patients with a 50% decrease in their Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D) score showed a significant increase in plasma SAMe concentration.

Conclusion: The significant correlation between plasma SAMe levels and the degree of clinical improvement in depressed patients regardless of the type of treatment suggests that SAMe may play an important role in regulating mood.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / blood*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Desipramine / blood
  • Desipramine / pharmacology
  • Desipramine / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methionine Adenosyltransferase / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / blood*
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / metabolism
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Methionine Adenosyltransferase
  • Desipramine