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A Comparative Study: Maprotiline and Levoprotiline's Effects on EEG

This article examines the impact of two antidepressants, Maprotiline and the new, atypically structured Levoprotiline, on Electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns after a single dose administration. The study was carried out on patients diagnosed with a major depressive episode (DSM-III-R).

The Study Group

The initial group consisted of 34 patients, but 11 were excluded due to low-voltage records or other pathological findings. Consequently, the remaining 23 patients were split into two groups:

  1. 12 patients received Levoprotiline

  2. 11 patients received Maprotiline

These medications were administered following a one-week placebo period, in doses of 150 mg.

The Procedure

The EEG was recorded at different intervals after the administration of the drugs. The recordings were made:

  • Before administration

  • 1.5 hours after

  • 3 hours after

  • 4.5 hours after

  • 6 hours after

  • 24 hours after

The EEG recording process was as follows:

1. A 16-channel average reference montage was used.
2. The patients were at rest with their eyes closed.
3. Two-minute intervals were divided into 30 four-second periods.
4. The sampling frequency was 128 Hz.

Data Processing

The EEG data was processed using Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to estimate the spectra. This mean spectrum was then divided into 10 frequency bands. A new method of frequency analysis, known as alpha-entropy, was also employed.

Alpha-entropy is a global measure of the difference between two spectra.



Three hours after the administration of a single dose, Levoprotiline demonstrated an EEG profile similar to that of tricyclic antidepressants. It increased the power spectra density values in the 5-8.5 Hz region and across the entire beta band. However, the expected decrease in power in the alpha band was missing.


Maprotiline, on the other hand, did not exhibit a typical antidepressant EEG profile three hours after administration. This discrepancy was likely due to the significant variance in power spectra density values, resulting from substantial interindividual differences during the absorption phase.

Alpha-Entropy Changes

Changes in the EEG spectrum, expressed as alpha-entropy values, were not incidental during various periods of assessment. After an initial rise in values, a decline was observed.


The study's findings suggest that Levoprotiline exhibits a similar EEG profile to tricyclic antidepressants, albeit with some variations. In contrast, Maprotiline did not display a typical antidepressant EEG profile, likely due to significant interindividual differences. The study also emphasized the effectiveness of the alpha-entropy method in analyzing EEG spectrum changes.

EEG graph showing the change in alpha-entropy values over time

This article is based on research and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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