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Am J Psychiatry. 2018 Mar 1;175(3):232-241. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17040404. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Impact of SSRI Therapy on Risk of Conversion From Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer's Dementia in Individuals With Previous Depression.

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From the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany; the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy and the Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Geriatric Psychiatry, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany; the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn; and the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, Göttingen.



Depression is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Research has shown that the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) citalopram decreases amyloid-β generation and plaque load. The authors evaluated the impact of SSRI treatment on CSF biomarkers and progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer's dementia.


Data sets from 755 currently nondepressed participants from the longitudinal Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis and analyses of variance and covariance with ApoE4 status and age as covariates.


In MCI patients with a history of depression, long-term SSRI treatment (>4 years) was significantly associated with a delayed progression to Alzheimer's dementia by approximately 3 years, compared with short-term SSRI treatment, treatment with other antidepressants, or no treatment and compared with MCI patients without a history of depression. No differences in CSF biomarker levels were observed between treatment groups.


Long-term SSRI treatment may delay progression from MCI to Alzheimer's dementia.


Dementia-Alzheimer-s Disease; Dementia-Other; Diagnosis And Classification; Geriatric Psychiatry; Psychotherapy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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