May 15, 2014
By Jane Brown
It’s a new avenue in the hunt for drugs to prevent the devastating brain disease Alzheimer’s. Research shows the commonly used antidepressant Celexa may cut levels of a protein that causes sticky brain plaques in Alzheimer’s patients.
First researchers at the University of Pennsylvania gave the drug to older mice and their plaques quit growing. Then they gave a single dose to a small group of healthy young adults and their bodies’ normal production of the protein known as amyloid dropped. It will take more research to tell if that translates into brain protection.
Lead Author Dr. Yvette Sheline cautions that “this is not the great new hope but it is a small step.” The findings are in Science Translational Medicine.