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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Can Antidepressants Prevent Alzheimer's ? May 15, 2014

For the past two months articles have been appearing showing that, in healthy human volunteers, the antidepressant Celexa, was able to reduce the amount of amyloid in the bloodstream.

Previously, a 50 mg dose equivalent of celexa administered to mice was able to reduce the amount of amyloid significantly.

Don't run out and get yourselves prescriptions however. The researchers don't know yet if indeed reducing amyloid will prevent Alzheimer's disease.They do know that celexa doesn't remove the plaques in the brain. Once they are there, it's too late and that can be 20 years before any symptoms appear!

But wouldn't it be nice to imagine that all the depressives who have been taking meds for years would be spared this awful disease? Just like the professor from Ohio State whose research showed the benefit of cannabis in preventing Alzheimer's disease. We'll get some clue as the youngest of the baby boomers age and the incidence of Alzheimer's disease does not increase as it is predicted.

When my husband was first showing signs of dementia, the doctor thought he was depressed and prescribed antidepressants but he felt less clear-headed and more agitated while taking them and stopped. One man I know from the nursing home-he visits a resident there frequently while I am also visiting-- has had symptoms and a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease for the past two years. He takes coconut oil, herbs and supplements without any prescription medications and has maintained both a positive attitude and basic self care skills for this time. His wife manages his life, drives the car, prepares his food, pays the bills, etc. and feels the burden of his illness more than he.

The one good thing about this finding about antidepressants is that it may encourage folks who are at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease to get themselves tested and perhaps to volunteer for a clinical trial. If otherwise healthy adults can reduce the amount of amyloid in their bloodstream before plaques appear in their brains, they may reduce their incidence of the disease. If many people volunteer, we will get the results sooner.

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