Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are potentially important drugs, especially in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. However, non-specific MAO inhibitors block the action of the MAO which are involved in detoxifying various amines derived from various foods, especially cheese, allowing these amines to exert a hypertensive reaction (the so-called 'cheese effect'). This has limited the use of MAO inhibitors as therapeutic agents. However, the discovery of two types of MAO, and the development of (-)deprenyl, the first highly potent, irreversible MAO inhibitor without the 'cheese effect' may change this situation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas