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Shelley Emling of The Huffington Post reports a rather dramatic finding that Antidepressant May Slow Alzheimer's Disease, Study Finds. Citalopram dramatically slowed the growth of amyloid beta and the plaques that it causes which are closely related to the memory and other cognitive problems caused by Alzheimer's according to a study published in Translational Medicine.

Brain plaques are closely connected to memory problems and other cognitive difficulties caused by Alzheimer's. If researchers can stop the plaque buildup, they may be able to stop the horrific mental decline caused by the disease.

Scientists found that the antidepressant citalopram stopped the growth of plaques in a mouse model of Alzheimer's. What was even better is that a single dose of the antidepressant lowered production of amyloid beta -- the primary ingredient in plaques -- by 37 percent in young healthy adults.

"Antidepressants appear to be significantly reducing amyloid beta production, and that's exciting," said senior author Dr. John Cirrito, assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine, in a written release. "But while antidepressants generally are well tolerated, they have risks and side effects. Until we can more definitively prove that these drugs help slow or stop Alzheimer's in humans, the risks aren't worth it. There is still much more work to do."

Emling also reports giving citalopram to older mice with plaques "stopped the growth of existing plaques and reduced the formation of new plaques by 78%"

Huffington Post notes that the number of people living with dementia is expected to double to 65.7 million by 2030.

Let's hope further research replicate these findings in human subjects and we can save millions of people and their families from so much suffering from this dreadful disease.

11:33 PM PT: Please check out my other posts from today and late last night.

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