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Alzheimer's disease (AD)

Serotonin (5-HT) transporter (SLC6A4; SERT)

Mouse and human studies suggest selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) could help prevent AD. In three-month-old mice expressing human amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin 1 (PSEN1; PS1) and free of b-amyloid (Ab)-related pathology, the SSRI Celexa citalopram caused dose-dependent decreases in Ab levels in brain and interstitial fluid within 24 hours. In a cohort of 23 healthy human subjects between ages 18 and 50, citalopram decreased Ab levels in cerebrospinal fluid by 37% compared with placebo. Next steps could include developing strategies to identify human subjects with high baseline levels of Ab that could benefit from SSRIs.
Citalopram is marketed by H. Lundbeck A/S and Forest Laboratories Inc. to treat depression.

SciBX 7(24); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.717
Published online June 19, 2014

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Sheline, Y.I. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.;
published online May 14, 2014;
Contact: Yvette I. Sheline, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.