Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-x5mqb Total loading time: 0.611 Render date: 2021-12-06T09:57:37.707Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Cognitive effects of acute tryptophan depletion in the healthy elderly

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2014

Janet Mace
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, Christchurch, New Zealand
Richard Porter*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, Christchurch, New Zealand
John O’Brien
Affiliation:
Wolfson Research Centre, Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Peter Gallagher
Affiliation:
School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry, Newcastle University, Leazes Wing (Psychiatry), Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
*
Richard Porter, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand. Tel: +64 3 372 0400; Fax: +64 3 372 0407; E-mail: richard.porter@otago.ac.nz

Abstract

Background:

Studies investigating the cognitive effects of serotonin depletion, using the technique of acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) by dietary means, have generally suggested that ATD impairs delayed verbal recall and recognition. In two previous studies in the elderly, this result has not been replicated and ATD impaired working memory. These results may be susceptible to type II error but a similar testing schedule in the individual studies allows data to be pooled in a larger analysis.

Methods:

Data from two separate double-blind placebo-controlled studies of the effects of ATD on cognitive function in the elderly were combined. In one study, a low dose and in the other a high dose of amino acids was used. In a repeated measures analysis of variance, the effects of ATD and the interaction of this with the other factors (age, gender and dose) on cognitive measures was examined.

Results:

Data from 31 healthy subjects aged between 60 and 81 years were analysed. There were no main effects of ATD or consistent interactions between ATD and age, gender or dose. There were significant interactions between ATD, gender and dose. When tryptophan depleted, females having the higher dose drink had reduced scores on Digit span and immediate recall on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test.

Conclusion:

The enlarged data set did not confirm an overall effect of ATD on working memory or on delayed word recall but does suggest an effect of ATD on encoding or registration in the subgroup of females receiving a higher strength drink.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Blackwell Munksgaard

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Young, SN, Ervin, FR, Pihl, RO, Finn, P. Biochemical aspects of tryptophan depletion in primates. Psychopharmacology 1989;98:508511. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nishizawa, S, Benkelfat, C, Young, SNet al. Differences between males and females in rates of serotonin synthesis in human brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1997;94:53085313. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Riedel, WJ. Cognitive changes after acute tryptophan depletion: what can they tell us? Psychol Med 2004;34:38. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Porter, RJ, Lunn, BS, O’Brien, J. Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease and in the healthy elderly. Psychol Med 2003;33:4149. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Porter, RJ, Phipps, AJ, Gallagher, Pet al. Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on mood and cognitive function in older recovered depressed subjects. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2005;13:607615. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
De Luca, CR, Wood, SJ, Anderson, Vet al. Normative data from the CANTAB. I: development of executive function over the lifespan. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 2003;25:242254. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Schmitt, JA, Jorissen, BL, Dye, L, Markus, CR, Deutz, NE, Riedel, WJ. Memory function in women with premenstrual complaints and the effect of serotonergic stimulation by acute administration of an alpha-lactalbumin protein. J Psychopharmacol 2005;19:375384. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sambeth, A, Blokland, A, Harmer, CJet al. Sex differences in the effect of acute tryptophan depletion on declarative episodic memory: a pooled analysis of nine studies. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2007;31:516529. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Porter, RJ, Lunn, BS, Walker, LL, Gray, JM, Ballard, CG, O’Brien, JT. Cognitive deficit induced by acute tryptophan depletion in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Am J Psychiatry 2000;157:638640. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rey, A. L’Examen Clinique en Psychologie. Paris: Press Universitaire de France, 1964. Google Scholar
Montgomery, SA, Asberg, M. A new depression scale designed to be sensitive to change. Br J Psychiatry 1979;134:382389. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Yesavage, JA, Brink, TL, Rose, TLet al. Development and validation of a geriatric depression screening scale: a preliminary report. J Psychiatr Res 1982;17: 3749. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Folstein, M, Folstein, S, Mchugh, P. “Mini mental state” a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res 1975;12:189198. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Young, SN, Smith, SE, Pihl, RO, Ervin, FR. Tryptophan depletion causes a rapid lowering of mood in normal males. Psychopharmacology 1985;87:173177. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Marshall, EF, Kennedy, WN, Eccleston, D. Whole blood serotonin and plasma tryptophan using high-pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Biochem Medi Metab Biol 1987;37:8186. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Robbins, TW, James, M, Owen, AM, Sahakian, BJ, McInnes, L, Rabbitt, P. Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB): a factor analytic study of a large sample of normal elderly volunteers. Dementia 1994;5:266281. Google ScholarPubMed
Teng, EL, Chui, HC. The Modified Mini-Mental State (3MS) examination. J Clin Psychiatry 1987;48:314318. Google ScholarPubMed
Weschler, D. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revised. New York: The Psychological Corporation, 1981. Google Scholar
Cegalis, J, Bowlin, J. Vigil: software for the assessment of attention. Nashua, New Hampshire: Forthought, 1991. Google Scholar
Benton, AL, Hamsher, K.Multilingual Aphasia Examination. Iowa City: University of Iowa, 1976. Google Scholar
Bryan, J, Luszcz, MA, Crawford, JR. Verbal knowledge and speed of information processing as mediators of age differences in verbal fluency performance among older adults. Psychol Aging 1997;12:473478. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wechsler, D. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revised. New York: The Psychological Corporation, 1981. Google Scholar
Okazawa, H, Leyton, M, Benkelfat, C, Mzengeza, S, Diksic, M. Statistical mapping analysis of serotonin synthesis images generated in healthy volunteers using positron-emission tomography and alpha-[11C]methyl-L-tryptophan. J Psychiatry Neurosci 2000;25:359370. Google ScholarPubMed
Sakai, Y, Nishikawa, M, Leyton, M, Benkelfat, C, Young, SN, Diksic, M. Cortical trapping of alpha-[(11)C]methyl-l-tryptophan, an index of serotonin synthesis, is lower in females than males. Neuroimage 2006;33:815824. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Traskman, L, Asberg, M, Bertilsson, L, Sjostrand, L. Monoamine metabolites in CSF and suicidal behavior. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1981;38:631636. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hughes, JH, Gallagher, P, Stewart, ME, Matthews, D, Kelly, TP, Young, AH. The effects of acute tryptophan depletion on neuropsychological function. Journal of Psychopharmacol 2003;17:300309. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Golightly, KL, Lloyd, JA, Hobson, JE, Gallagher, P, Mercer, G, Young, AH. Acute tryptophan depletion in schizophrenia. Psychol Med 2001;31:7584. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Evers, EA, Tillie, DE, Van Der Veen, FMet al. Effects of a novel method of acute tryptophan depletion on plasma tryptophan and cognitive performance in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology 2005;178:9299. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Scholtissen, B, Verhey, FR, Adam, JJ, Prickaerts, J, Leentjens, AF. Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on cognition, memory and motor performance in Parkinson’s disease. J Neurol Sci 2006;248:259265. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sobczak, S, Honig, A, Nicholson, N, Riedel, W. Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on mood and cortisol release in first-degree relatives of type I and type II bipolar patients and healthy matched controls. Neuropsychopharmacology 2002;27:834842. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
4
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Cognitive effects of acute tryptophan depletion in the healthy elderly
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Cognitive effects of acute tryptophan depletion in the healthy elderly
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Cognitive effects of acute tryptophan depletion in the healthy elderly
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *