Methylation has been implicated in the etiology of psychiatric illness.
Parenteral S-adenosylmethionine, a methyl group donor, has been shown to be
an effective antidepressant. The authors studied the antidepressant effect
of oral S-adenosylmethionine in a randomized, double-blind,
placebo-controlled trial for 15 inpatients with major depression. The
results suggest that oral S-adenosylmethionine is a safe, effective
antidepressant with few side effects and a rapid onset of action.
S-Adenosylmethionine induced mania in a patient with no history of mania.
S-Adenosylmethionine may be useful for patients who cannot tolerate
tricyclic anti-depressants. These findings support a role for methylation
in the pathophysiology of depression.