Antidepressants show signs of countering Alzheimer’s | Science News

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Antidepressants show signs of countering Alzheimer’s

Mice and human data link treatment to less plaque in the brain

3:37pm, August 22, 2011

Widely used antidepressants may reduce the ominous brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, a new study in mice and humans finds.

Brain scans of people who have taken antidepressants reveal fewer clumps of the protein amyloid-beta, a target of Alzheimer’s prevention strategies, when compared with people who have not taken the drugs.

Many in the field voiced caution about the results. But if borne out by further study, the findings may point to a new, relatively safe way to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

“I think this is a wonderful piece of news, and I think there’s going to be a lot of excitement about this,” says internist Michael Weiner, who leads the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus of the University of California, San Francisco. “It points the way towards a possible a

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