Effects of MAO-B inhibitors on non-motor symptoms and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease: A systematic review

Congratulations to Drs. Okun and Rameriz-Zamora on the publication of “Effects of MAO-B inhibitors on non-motor symptoms and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease: A systematic review.”  This paper was published in the June 13th issue of NPJ Parkinson’s Disease.


Non-motor symptoms (NMS) are common among patients with Parkinson’s disease and reduce patients’ quality of life (QOL). However, there remain considerable unmet needs for NMS management. Three monoamine oxidase B inhibitors (MAO-BIs), selegiline, rasagiline, and safinamide, have become commercially available in many countries. Although an increasing number of studies have reported potential beneficial effects of MAO-BIs on QOL and NMS, there has been no consensus. Thus, the primary objective of this study was to provide an up-to-date systematic review of the QOL and NMS outcomes from the available clinical studies of MAO-BIs. We conducted a literature search using the PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases in November 2021. We identified 60 publications relevant to this topic. Overall, rasagiline and safinamide had more published evidence on QOL and NMS changes compared with selegiline. This was likely impacted by selegiline being introduced many years prior to the field embarking on the study of NMS. The impact of MAO-BIs on QOL was inconsistent across studies, and this was unlikely to be clinically meaningful. MAO-BIs may potentially improve depression, sleep disturbances, and pain. In contrast, cognitive and olfactory dysfunctions are likely unresponsive to MAO-BIs. Given the paucity of evidence and controlled, long-term studies, the effects of MAO-BIs on fatigue, autonomic dysfunctions, apathy, and ICD remain unclear. The effects of MAO-BIs on static and fluctuating NMS have never been investigated systematically. More high-quality studies will be needed and should enable clinicians to provide personalized medicine based on a non-motor symptom profile.