Long-term SSRI delays progression of mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease
Long-term treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) appear to delay the progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study has shown.
The study included 755 nondepressed individuals with amnestic MCI or early Alzheimer’s dementia and age-matched cognitively normal controls. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed to evaluate the effect of depression history and antidepressant treatments on the conversion to dementia.
While baseline MCI was associated with a 2.60-fold higher likelihood of prior depression, subsequent conversion to Alzheimer’s dementia was not. The cumulative probabilities of progression to Alzheimer’s dementia were statistically comparable between those with and without a history of depression (p=0.38).
When restricting analysis to MCI patients with a history of depression, those who received long-term treatment with SSRIs (>4 years) had a significant delay in progression to Alzheimer’s dementia compared with those who were treated with other antidepressants (change in mean survival time, 891 days; p≤0.001) or who received only short-term SSRI treatment (change in mean survival time, 884 days; p=0.008).
Compared to those without a history of depression who did not receive antidepressants, those with prior depression who took other antidepressants had significantly higher conversion rates (change in mean survival time, –654 days; p=0.003).
“[W]e found a delay of approximately 3 years in MCI progression to Alzheimer’s dementia in patients with a previous depression who received long-term SSRI treatment. In contrast, treatment with non-SSRI antidepressants was associated with a higher risk of conversion of MCI to Alzheimer’s dementia and a shorter interval to progression compared with the long-term SSRI group,” researchers said.