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Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Dec 15;62(12):1413-7. Epub 2007 Jun 4.

Depression, antidepressants, and plasma amyloid beta (Beta) peptides in those elderly who do not have cardiovascular disease.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.



Low plasma amyloid-beta peptide 42 (Abeta42) is associated with depressive symptoms independently of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the elderly. It is critical to investigate whether antidepressants modify this relationship.


We evaluated 324 elders without CVD in a cross-sectional study. Depression was evaluated with the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. Antidepressants were documented. Plasma Abeta40 and Abeta42 were measured.


In the absence of CVD, those with depression had lower plasma Abeta42 (median: 13.7 vs. 18.8 pg/mL, p = .003) than those without. Depressed subjects on antidepressant treatment had a lower concentration of plasma Abeta40 (median: 97.8 vs. 133.5 pg/mL, p = .008), but not Abeta42, than those without the treatment. Multivariate logistic regression showed that antidepressant use did not influence the relationship between depression and low plasma Abeta42 (odds ratio = .55; 95% CI = .33, .90; p = .02) after adjusting for confounders, but its use interacted with plasma Abeta40 in the model.


Lower concentration of plasma Abeta42 is associated with depression in the absence of CVD that is not related to the antidepressant use by those subjects. Prospective studies are needed to determine whether depression associated with low plasma Abeta42 predicts the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

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