Nortriptyline : neuroprotective? Anti-de... - Cure Parkinson's

Cure Parkinson's

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Nortriptyline : neuroprotective? Anti-depressant previously studied, Cure Parkinson’s planning a trial (Thank you Cure Parkinson’s!!)


Can anyone taking Nortriptyline please share your experience? Have you experienced any evidence of it being neuro protective?

I’ve contemplated seeking an antidepressant and if it has evidence of being neuro protective, then obviously that’s very compelling.

42 Replies

I tried amitriptyline for sleep. Only used it twice. Was on Rasagiline and Amantadine. The three together seemed to help with my tremors a little better.

cclemonade in reply to Hidden

Why did you quit Rasagaline? Neuroprotective according to many. How is the CL going?

Hikoi in reply to cclemonade

I dont believe any meds have been proven neuro protective. I think you will get opinions not facts. Be interested to see any research.

Hidden in reply to cclemonade

I wanted to cut down on number of different meds. CL does make a big difference but it doesn’t last a long time. But I guess when I am on sometimes I feel like I am almost disease free. Still I wish there was a permanent cure.

Hidden in reply to cclemonade

I did replace the Rasagiline with natural licorice which is supposed to be a MOA B inhibitor and it also helps with hypotension.

park_bear in reply to Hidden

I wrote about that here:

Licorice Root Extract Helps (A Little)

Smittybear7 in reply to Hidden

I was just denied and MRI because I have tremors. Anyone else have that experience

Seeing as that is a completely unrelated subject, you might want to start a new post.


It was my hope to find out any personal experience PWP have with taking Nortriptyline bc there has been sufficient evidence of it being neuro protective for Cure Parkinson’s to pursue a trial which is suppose to start this year. Back in I believe 2012 there was an inconclusive trial.

Comments about other drugs and supplements, although interesting, have nothing to do with my original post.If anyone is taking or has taken Nortriptyline, it is my hope you will please share your experience.

Hikoi in reply to cclemonade

I have. It worked wonderfully for a while (year or more cant remember) and then it stopped working. 🙁. I have spoken to others with similar experience. But no harm in trying it.

kevowpd in reply to Hikoi

Assume you mean it worked as an anti-depressant rather than in as a neuro protector?

Hikoi in reply to kevowpd

Ops. I used it as a sleeping aid, so a low dose. Never heard before that it could have neuro protective qualities.

cclemonade in reply to Hikoi

I need to figure out how to link articles. On Cure Parkinson’s they discuss it and I found info dating back to approx 2012 from other sources. Maybe it is minimally neuro-protective. If we combine many minimally neuro-protective treatments it can hopefully add up to being a bit helpful.

cclemonade in reply to Hikoi

Did you experience adverse side effects? I’m researching trying it.

Hikoi in reply to cclemonade

I stopped because it wasnt working for sleep and I think it raised my heart rate.

Grumpy77 in reply to Hikoi

What do you mean by "it worked wonderfully well"? Is this symptomatically or neuro protectively or for the sleep you originally took it for?

Hikoi in reply to Grumpy77

Sleep. I dont know how one can measure neuro protective properties and any way I didnt know it was thought to be neuro protective, The small raising of my mood was a welcome side effect.

DHPSR in reply to cclemonade

sorry CC, no I have not tried Nortriptyline, and now I'm not sure if you're interested in other options that have both neuro-protective and anti-depressant properties, but if you are (or others reading this thread), one I take more regularly (with some breaks) is Gotu Kola

cclemonade in reply to DHPSR

I am extremely interested in anything I can do or take that can help with neuro protection. And, being depressed and anxious is an issue as well. Thank you for telling me about Gotu Kola. I had not heard of it.

jeeves19 in reply to cclemonade

I took amytriptaline for many years to help me sleep from about 2007 and I began motor symptoms 2015. I’ve often believed that the drug delayed my full onset. But it has also been identified as a contributor to memory problems for those over 65.

CC, have you tried St. John's wort? works for me when needed

Id speak to your neuro/mds about a dopamine agonist for depression.

Nortriptyline Neuroprotective as a Google search turns up many articles including siting substantial evidence in PWP. Which is why I posed my initial question.

kevowpd in reply to cclemonade

In actual PWP? Can you link?

cclemonade in reply to kevowpd

Parkinson’s News Today in 2017 wrote about it and there is historical evidence of it slowing progression bc people who took it had a delayed need for CL. MJFF partially funded the trial.

But now I can not find anything.

Is the MJFF continuing to fund research on this? My search has turned up nothing.

Since you have defended MJFF from my inquiries in the past, maybe you can find info on a current trial that is eluding me?

Yes In PWP

please Google it as stated above bc there is much info and as previously stated I’m having trouble including links from my phone.

University of Michigan from 2018

MJFF 2014

Upcoming trial at Cure Parkinson’s

Research Could Antidepressent slow March of Parkinson’s : in that article evidence in PWP is mentioned bc so many PWP have used this as an antidepressant

Etc etc

@cclemonade, if you really want to go with an antidepressant, google the older medication called trazodone. I think that they are in phase2.


cclemonade in reply to pdpatient

Simon from Science of Parkinson’s wrote about it. Very inconclusive at best.

I could not find a phase 2.

Who is conducting it?

pdpatient in reply to cclemonade

@cclemonade, unfortunately, it looks like no one. Here's the link I saw a couple of years ago and it sounded promising. Alas, it was perhaps not meant to be.

I asked my psychiatrist to prescribe trazodone. It felt like magic (for sleep) and I would sleep very soundly, too soundly in fact that it annoyed my wife. I found limited symptomatic benefits. I was able to delay my first dose to late afternoon. I took it for nearly two years and then gave up because it was too powerful even at the lowest dose.

My doctor speculated that the benefits from trazodone are perhaps derived from the excellent deep sleep that you can get from it. Indeed I find that on particularly bad days, I just need to "sleep it off" to get back to my Parkinson's normal or steady state. Hope this information helps.


cclemonade in reply to pdpatient

Thank you RKM.

I used it low dose for a few years, no noticeable help other than perhaps with sleep. Now it's been changed to Mirtazipine after it stopped helping and that's working well currently

Bad news: Michael j Fox has studied nortriptyline and the results were not favourable for pd on two different fronts/purposes... See the two links below. Also, unlike MAOIs, tricyclic antidepressants like nortriptyline are said the be anticholinergic, ie possible memory loss:


The following are quotes from the articles you linked:“Antidepressant medications may have a modest protective effect, this positive influence can be overwhelmed in a model of severe, sudden damage to the dopamine system.”

Under “Final Outcome”

“Does not necessarily clear existing alpha synuclein pathology but instead may slow the process of ongoing alpha synuclein aggregation.”

You said “bad news” “not favorable on two fronts”. Can you please elaborate?

My husband PWP was prescribed a low dose (10 mgs) 8 months ago to help with pain and excess saliva. The side effect was that it helped him psychologically to leave the house for walks after months of staying housebound. I doubt it was neuroprotective in any way, as his symptoms are worsening.


All I know is that ALL antidepressants are anticholinergic. We try to increse choline not decrease it! Therefore, although my husband needs antidepressants for his depression, he will take no such meds.

Even MAOIs?

Even SSRIs?

He was taking Azilect but caused him confusion! He stopped it.

cclemonade in reply to Despe

After researching this further I understand that. The research about it decreasing AS aggregation looks very promising but the other issues are a big trade off.

The search continues.

Leaving no stone unturned.

rescuema in reply to Despe

I agree.

amytriptaline and melatonin always give me a good nights sleep :)

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