[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.211.120.181. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
April 1974

Brain Biogenic Amine Depletion and Mood

Author Affiliations

Philadelphia
From the Depression Research Unit, departments of psychiatry and pharmacology, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Philadelphia.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(4):447-451. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760100019004
Abstract

To evaluate the hypothesis that clinical depression is associated with reduced brain biogenic amine activity, the behavioral effects, in man, of drugs that deplete the brain of biogenic amines were reviewed. The behavioral changes associated with reserpine administration were interpreted as being primarily a psychomotor retardation-sedation syndrome, due perhaps to a dopamine deficiency, and would not be an adequate model for clinical depression. In susceptible persons, particularly those with a prior history of depression, this psychomotor retardation-sedation might be sufficient to trigger a depression-like episode.

More selective amine depletion, produced either by alpha-methyl-paratyrosine or by parachlorophenylalanine is not associated with depression. Yet, these drugs produce a more consistent and greater reduction in amine metabolite concentrations than that reported to occur in depressed patients.

In light of this, it is suggested that the depletion of brain norepinephrine and dopamine, or serotonin, is, in itself, not sufficient to account for clinical depression.

×