Minocycline in neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases: An update Articles uri icon


  • Romero Miguel, Diego
  • Lamanna Rama, Nicolas
  • Gomez Rangel, Vanessa

publication date

  • March 2021

start page

  • 1056

end page

  • 1081


  • 3


  • 28

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1351-5101

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-1331


  • Background and purpose: Minocycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, effective as a chronic treatment for recurrent bacterial infections. Beyond its antibiotic action, minocycline also has important anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiapoptotic properties. Its efficacy has therefore been evaluated in many neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases that have an inflammatory basis. Our aim was to review preclinical and clinical studies performed in neurological and psychiatric diseases whose treatment involved the use of minocycline and thereby to discern the possible beneficial effect of minocycline in these disorders. Methods: Completed and ongoing preclinical studies and clinical trials of minocycline for both neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders, published from January 1995 to January 2020, were identified through searching relevant databases (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/, https://clinicaltrials.gov/). A total of 74 preclinical studies and 44 clinical trials and open-label studies were selected. Results: The results of the nearly 20 years of research identified are diverse. While minocycline mostly proved to be effective in animal models, clinical results showed divergent outcomes, with positive results in some studies counterbalanced by a number of cases with no significant improvements. Specific data for each disease are further individually described in this review. Conclusions: Despite minocycline demonstrating antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, discrepancies between preclinical and clinical data indicate that we should be cautious in analyzing the outcomes. Improving and standardizing protocols and refining animal models could help us to determine if minocycline really is a useful drug in the treatment of these pathologies.


  • inflammation; minocycline; neurodegenerative diseases; oxidative stress; psychiatric disorders