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Neurobiol Aging. 2008 Dec;29(12):1830-8. Epub 2007 Jun 4.

Reduced 5-HT2A receptor binding in patients with mild cognitive impairment.

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1
Neurobiology Research Unit N9201, The Neuroscience Centre, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark. steen.hasselbalch@nru.dk

Abstract

Previous studies of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) have described reduced brain serotonin 2A (5-HT(2A)) receptor density. It is unclear whether this abnormality sets in early in the course of the disease and whether it is related to early cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms. We assessed cerebral 5-HT(2A) receptor binding in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and related 5-HT(2A) receptor binding to clinical symptoms. Sixteen patients with MCI of the amnestic type (mean age 73, mean MMSE 26.1) and 17 age and sex matched control subjects were studied with MRI and [(18)F]altanserin PET in a bolus-infusion approach. A significant global reduction of 20-30% in 5-HT(2A) binding (atrophy corrected) was found in most neocortical areas. Reduced 5-HT(2A) binding in the striatum correlated significantly with Neuropsychiatric Inventory depression and anxiety scores. We conclude that widespread reductions in 5-HT(2A) receptor binding were found in amnestic MCI, pointing at the presence of serotonergic dysfunction in prodromal AD. This may provide some of the pathophysiological background for the neuropsychiatric symptoms found in early AD.

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