High (extracellular) serotonin causes Alzheimer’s and depression

The utter corruption of “journalism” is once again on full display in MSM. The actual scientific study is very clear in its statements/conclusions that a decrease in the levels of serotonin transporter (5-HTT) led to accumulation of beta-amyloid and onset of depression. Lower levels of 5-HTT – the protein that deactivates serotonin – means higher extracellular serotonin levels. The most popular class of “antidepressant” drugs – the SSRI – inhibit precisely the activity of 5-HTT and thus, according to the article findings, taking an SSRI may cause Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and/or depression. Yet, the popular press article twists this 180 degrees and shamelessly reports that “low serotonin” is the cause of these conditions, when the study claims the exact opposite. Call me extreme, but I think level of journalistic malevolence should be punishable by jail as it has the potential to poison the minds (and ruin the health) of millions of people around the world.



“…“What’s unique about PET scans is that they enable us to look at chemicals localized in the living brain in relation to Aβ proteins associated with memory loss,” says Gwenn Smith, Ph.D., Richman Professor of Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “This was fundamental for our work because we were able to test hypotheses from past research on mice with dementia for our imaging study in the human brain.””

“…In a series of tests using radiotracers — short-acting radioactive molecules that “light up” in a PET scan — the researchers looked at both sets of participants for the amounts of Aβ and serotonin transporter (5-HTT), a protein that regulates the amount of serotonin in nerve cells.  The data collected from the PET scans were then analyzed using a mathematical formula that identified a pattern showing how Aβ accumulation relates to 5-HTT. The pattern, Smith says, was significantly higher in the late-life depression group, indicating that a decrease in 5-HTT is linked to higher levels of Aβ in different areas of the brain — and in turn, to depression. The researchers also examined the relationship between the mathematically derived pattern and the severity of depression. For all study participants, the more that the decreased serotonin/increased Aβ pattern was seen, the greater were the depressive symptoms. Lower serotonin levels, say the researchers, were previously linked to depression. Therefore, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors — antidepressants that increase the amount of the brain chemical to a more normal level — have been prescribed for treatment of major depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and other psychological conditions. “Our work reinforces the role of serotonin in late-life depression and the proteins associated with memory loss,” says Smith.”