(ST. LOUIS) – The antidepressant, Citalopram, or Celexa, has been found to decrease the production of brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
John Cirrito, a senior author, and an assistant professor of neurology at Washington University’s School of Medicine, along with other fellows at University of Pennsylvania, said that a protein named amyloid beta is produced during normal brain activity. The levels of these proteins gradually increase in the brains of Alzheimer patients, and as a result, they clump together forming plaques.
The study which was published in Science Translational Medicine, showed that Citalopram retarded the production of plaques in mice as well as in young people who were relatively healthy. Moreover, just a single dose of Celexa lowered the amyloid beta (the main ingredient in plaques) production by 37%.
In his statement, Cirrito said, “Antidepressants appear to be significantly reducing amyloid beta production, and that’s exciting. But while antidepressants generally are well tolerated, they have risks and side effects. Until we can more definitively prove that these drugs help slow or stop Alzheimer’s in humans, the risks aren’t worth it. There is still much more work to do.”
According to the scientists, the findings of the study were encouraging, however, they warned that taking antidepressants on a regular basis, so as to treat Alzheimer’s disease, would be a premature decision on the part of people.