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Antidepressant Effects of Noni Fruit and its Active Principals

Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, remains a problem among developed and developing nations. Lifetime prevalence estimates range from  about  3%  of  the  population  (Japan)  to  17% (USA),  with  most  nations  between  8 and 12% (Andrade et al., 2003). Within the United States, the 12-month prevalence has been estimated to be 6.6% (Kessler et al., 2003). Clearly, depression remains an important public health issue. Treatment of depression involves many modalities, the majority of which are psychotherapy and pharmacological interventions. Among the antidepressant drugs are Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase enzymes break down the monoamine neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine (Spencer, 1977). The utility of MAO inhibitors lies in their ability to prevent the catalysis of the amine based neurotransmitters. MAO inhibitors have been found to be useful in the treatment of a wide variety of mental health disorders, but they also have a number of serious toxicities associate with their use, such as hypertensive reaction and other more common undesirable side effects, including weight gain and daytime sedation (Remick and Froese, 1990).

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