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Study: Antidepressant May Cut Alzheimer's Protein

Updated: Monday, June 9 2014, 04:49 PM EDT

Research shows a common antidepressant may cut production of one of the chief suspects behind Alzheimer's.

It's far too early for anyone worried about dementia to try the drug citalopram, also called Celexa. But it's a new avenue in the hunt for drugs to prevent or slow the brain disease.

Researchers tested the drug's effect on a protein named beta-amyloid that in Alzheimer's, somehow goes awry and forms gunky brain plaques. First researchers 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 amyloid dropped.

It will take more research to tell if that translates into brain protection. Next, researchers will start testing the drug in healthy older adults.

AP-WF-05-14-14 1940GMT

Study: Antidepressant May Cut Alzheimer's Protein

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