Comment (William M. Petrie)

Dr.  Joseph Knoll’s new publication, “How Selegiline(-)-Deprenyl Slows Brain Aging”, is an interesting personal account of the development of (-)-deprenyl from its theoretical background prior to 1950 to its emergence in the 1960s as an MAO inhibitor and in Dr. Knoll’s view, its most important effect as a catecholamine enhancer. His book pieces together the facts and arguments to describe this catecholamine enhancing effect of (-)-deprenyl which is unrelated to its MAO-B inhibition.

Dr. Knoll describes a neuroprotective effect of (-)-deprenyl in a variety of paradigms which he relates to the drug’s effect on extending longevity in Wistar-Logan rats. These effects are seen in alow, non-MAOI dose which prompts Dr. Knoll to suggest a role in slowing aging. (-)-Deprenyl accomplishes this through increasing the supply of phenylethylamine and dopamine in the brain. Male rats maintained on the agent for life enjoyed improved learning, later sexual activity and longer life. For those of us interested in treatment options in geriatric health and disease, the drug deserves serious reevaluation.

William M. Petrie
November 21, 2013

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