Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

RATIONALE: Previous studies have shown extensive serotonergic deficits in the hippocampus of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. However, it is unclear whether such deficits play a role in non-cognitive, neuropsychiatric behaviors that occur frequently in AD and cause significant caregiver distress. OBJECTIVES: In this study, we aimed to correlate serotonergic markers in the AD hippocampus with neuropsychiatric behaviors. METHODS: Using postmortem hippocampal homogenates from aged controls as well as a cohort of longitudinally assessed AD patients, measurements of 5-HT(1A) receptors, 5-HT(2A) receptors, and serotonin re-uptake (5-HTT) sites were performed by binding with (3)H-labeled 8-OH-DPAT, ketanserin, and citalopram, respectively. RESULTS: Alterations of 5-HT(1A) receptors and 5-HTT were found to be differentially involved in neuropsychiatric behaviors, with loss of 5-HT(1A) receptors specifically correlated with depressive symptoms, while 5-HTT sites were preserved or up-regulated in patients with aggressive behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that neuropsychiatric behaviors in AD share certain neurochemical features with psychiatric disorders like major depression and that serotonergic drugs used in psychiatric disorders may also be efficacious against behavioral symptoms in AD.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychopharmacology (Berl)

Publication Date





431 - 439


8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alzheimer Disease, Autopsy, Binding Sites, Citalopram, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Hippocampus, Humans, Ketanserin, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Prospective Studies, Protein Binding, Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1A