Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 9th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Antidepressants Aid Alzheimer's
22 May 2014

Antidepressants Aid Alzheimer's

What if a drug, well known for treating depression, could also be used to slow down and possibly prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease? Researchers have shown in mice and humans, that the antidepressant, citalopram a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), reduces the production of amyloid beta (AB) – a key component in the brain plaques that form in Alzheimer’s patients. Displayed as red dots, AB clumps stopped growing in mice with Alzheimer’s, and AB levels reduced significantly. The build up of amyloid clumps is strongly linked with cognitive dysfunction and memory loss associated with the disease. Scientists are now trying to better understand the role serotonin plays in AB production and test their findings on older adults to see if this already approved drug can be used effectively to treat and prevent Alzheimer's in humans.

Written by Yalda Javadi

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.