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RATIONALE: Previous studies have shown extensive serotonergic deficits in the hippocampus of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. However, it is unclear whether such deficits play a role in non-cognitive, neuropsychiatric behaviors that occur frequently in AD and cause significant caregiver distress. OBJECTIVES: In this study, we aimed to correlate serotonergic markers in the AD hippocampus with neuropsychiatric behaviors. METHODS: Using postmortem hippocampal homogenates from aged controls as well as a cohort of longitudinally assessed AD patients, measurements of 5-HT(1A) receptors, 5-HT(2A) receptors, and serotonin re-uptake (5-HTT) sites were performed by binding with (3)H-labeled 8-OH-DPAT, ketanserin, and citalopram, respectively. RESULTS: Alterations of 5-HT(1A) receptors and 5-HTT were found to be differentially involved in neuropsychiatric behaviors, with loss of 5-HT(1A) receptors specifically correlated with depressive symptoms, while 5-HTT sites were preserved or up-regulated in patients with aggressive behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that neuropsychiatric behaviors in AD share certain neurochemical features with psychiatric disorders like major depression and that serotonergic drugs used in psychiatric disorders may also be efficacious against behavioral symptoms in AD.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s00213-010-1936-2

Type

Journal article

Journal

Psychopharmacology (Berl)

Publication Date

02/2011

Volume

213

Pages

431 - 439

Keywords

8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alzheimer Disease, Autopsy, Binding Sites, Citalopram, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Hippocampus, Humans, Ketanserin, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Prospective Studies, Protein Binding, Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1A