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Effect of Electroconvulsive Therapy on Brain Amine Oxidase

EDRA L. SPILMAN, Ph.D.; DANIEL W. BADAL, M.D.
AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(5):545-547. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590110069008.
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Recent studies on the mechanisms of action of reserpine and various amine oxidase inhibitors suggest that the enzyme amine oxidase plays a significant role in regulating the concentration of tissue catechol amine.1-6 Reserpine effects an irreversible release of bound serotonin and arterenol (noradrenalin). These compounds may be oxidized by amine oxidase or excreted, and, as a result, tissue catechol amine concentrations decrease.7 On the other hand, the administration of amine oxidase inhibitors, such as iproniazid (isonicotinylisopropylhydrazine) and pheniprazine (β-phenylisopropylhydrazine) causes an increase in brain serotonin,8,9 which is particularly evident with the concurrent administration of 5-hydroxytryptophan.4,9

It has been further reported that iproniazid, pheniprazine, and other amine oxidase inhibitors alleviate some of the symptoms of certain mental depressions.14 This function has been attributed to their property of inhibiting amine oxidase. A number of drugs of similar

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