Antidepressants Could Help Fight Alzheimer's
5/15/2014 1:25 PM ET RTT News
Some common antidepressants may help ward off the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study from researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine. For the study the researchers examined a group of mice, administering selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
These drugs have previously been proven to reduce the amount of amyloid proteins in the brain, which are created in higher volumes in the brains of those with Alzheimer's. Each of the mice in the study was genetically bread to develop Alzheimer's and they found that the SSRi citalopram greatly reduced amyloid developed and helped ward off Alzheimer's symptoms.
"The way the Alzheimer's field is going is [we are] trying to find the initial insult in Alzheimer's disease," the researchers explained. "We think it is the build-up of this amyloid beta peptide, and once it builds up, a lot of things go wrong."
They add: "SSRIs, by lowering a-beta levels 25 percent, were able to completely block that [plaque] growth. The plaques never got smaller, and we couldn't reverse the plaque [that was already there], but we could prevent it from growing."