ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A new Washington University study finds anti-depressants may slow Alzheimer’s disease.

It appears that in mice and young people, anti-depressant drugs reduce the production of the amyloid-beta peptide that collects to form the plaques that dot the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

“People that have been treated at any point in the last five years with anti-depressants actually had less plaque in their brain,” says Wash U Alzheimer’s researcher John Cirrito.

He says they’re now recruiting older people now to see whether the anti-depressants have the same effect in people who may be developing plaques. He adds that repeating this in individuals that are at risk, is essentially the next step.

“There’s millions of people on these things for depression, there’s certainly side effects of these things,” says Cirrito. “Medicating when you don’t need to be medicating probably isn’t a good idea.”

Critto says this is a promising area of research, but he cautions its way too early for people to think they may be able to stave off Alzheimer’s by taking an anti-depressant.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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