This news release was accessed by us on the Massachusetts General Hospital website.
We noted with interest that the sponsor of this five-year study is the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health–the principal dietary supplement research agency of the US government. NYBC has followed earlier, promising studies of SAMe as an anti-depressant, and we’re glad that there is now a significant research project underway to further investigate the properties of this molecule as a treatment for depression.
Mass. General, Butler Hospitals testing SAMe for depression treatment:
Promising nutritional supplement being compared with SSRI, placebo
BOSTON/PROVIDENCE- June 26, 2007 – Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), in collaboration with Butler Hospital in Providence, is currently undertaking a clinical trial examining the effectiveness of the nutritional supplement S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) as a treatment for depression.
A naturally occurring substance found in every human cell, SAMe is known to play a role in the synthesis of serotonin and other brain chemicals involved in the regulation of mood. Nutritional supplements containing SAMe have been used to treat depression, and more than 45 clinical studies have suggested that it may be as effective as the older tricyclic antidepressants for some patients. Current studies, like the MGH/Butler trial, are focused on comparing SAMe with the newer selective serotonin reputake inhibitor (SSRIs) antidepressants.
“SAMe appears to be a promising treatment for depression,” says David Mischoulon, MD, PhD, of the MGH Department of Psychiatry, one of the trial’s investigators. “It’s looking like SAMe supplementation may allow the body to maintain higher levels of critical neurotransmitters that could reverse a depressed state.” Mischoulon is an assistant professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
The five-year trial is designed to test the safety, effectiveness and tolerability of SAMe compared with the SSRI escitalopram (Lexapro) or a placebo…
Note: an overview of information on SAMe, including recommendations concerning B-complex supplementation for those taking this supplement, is available on the NYBC website: