The Role of Monoamine Oxidase B Inhibitors in the Treatment of Parkin-son’s Disease-An Update

Zhi Xin Chew, Chooi Ling Lim, Khuen Yen Ng, Soi Moi Chye, Anna Pick Kiong Ling, Rhun Yian Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterised by reduced dopamine levels in the substantial nigra. This may lead to typical motor features such as bradykinesia, resting tremors and rigid muscles, as well as non-motor symptoms such as neu-ropsychiatric symptoms, sleep disorders, autonomic dysfunction, and sensory disturbances. Inhibi-tors of monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) are used to alleviate symptoms by reducing monoamine oxidase-catalysed degradation of dopamine; hence, preserving functional levels of dopamine. The very first MAO-B inhibitor used therapeutically was selegiline, followed by rasagiline, its indane derivative which has superior efficacy and selectivity. Both inhibitors can be used as monotherapy or in combination with other anti-Parkinson drugs. Safinamide, a reversible MAO-B inhibitor that utilises both dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic mechanisms, was recently approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) (2015) and U.S. FDA (2017) as an add-on therapy for patients with mid-or late-stage Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, MAO-B inhibitors were found to be associated with potential neuroprotective and disease modifying effects. However, evidence of their efficacy and role in PD models is scarce and warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-352
Number of pages24
JournalCNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • monoamine oxidase B inhibitor
  • neuroprotective
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • rasagiline
  • safinamide
  • selegiline

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