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J Alzheimers Dis. 2009;17(1):203-11. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2009-1031.

Delusion symptoms and response to antipsychotic treatment are associated with the 5-HT2A receptor polymorphism (102T/C) in Alzheimer's disease: a 3-year follow-up longitudinal study.

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  • 1IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy.


Although the etiology of psychotic symptoms (hallucinations and delusions) in Alzheimer's disease is still not known, alterations in serotonergic neurotransmission have been proposed. In a 3-year follow-up study, we evaluated the association of serotonin (5-HT) receptor 5-HT2a 102T/C polymorphism (allelic variants CC, CT and TT) with psychotic symptom severity and response to treatment with atypical antipsychotics (risperidone, olanzapine and quietapine) in 80 patients with a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease. The Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) was administered to determine the frequency and severity (FxS) of psychotic and other behavioral symptoms. There was a significant difference in the NPI FxS delusion score among the three variants of the 5-HT2a 102T/C polymorphism, with patients carrying the TT genotype the most delusional during the follow-up period. In particular, NPI FxS delusion score was higher in TT than in CC genotype at year 2. Moreover, patients with delusion symptoms carrying the CT and TT genotypes were resistant to the treatment with antipsychotic drugs. Thus our study, although at preliminary level, suggests that the presence of T allele of the 102T/C polymorphism in patients with Alzheimer's disease is associated with both increased presence of delusion symptoms and treatment-resistance to second generation antipsychotic drugs.

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