Role of serotonin transporter Polymorphisms in the behavioural and psychological symptoms in probable Alzheimer disease patients

Antonia L. Pritchard, Colin W. Pritchard, Peter Bentham, Corinne L. Lendon

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60 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims: Alzheimer disease (AD) patients commonly suffer from behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). A genetic component to BPSD development in AD has been demonstrated. This is an investigation of whether the linked polymorphic region and variable number tandem repeat variants of the serotonin transporter (SERT) are associated with BPSD. Methods: The longitudinal measures of BPSD of our large cohort of 367 AD patients were assessed by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Measures with good evidence of serotonergic involvement (delusions, hallucinations, depression, anxiety, agitation/aggression and irritability) were related to genotype and allele frequencies of the linked polymorphic region and variable number tandem repeat variants. Results: Analysis revealed significant relationships between the linked polymorphic region variant long allele with irritability and the variable number tandem repeat 10-repeat allele with psychosis, but no associations were found with depression, anxiety or agitation/aggression. Conclusion: Our data and review of previous studies suggest SERT could play a minor role in development of psychosis and aggressive/irritable tendencies; however, further investigations are required in large, well-characterized cohorts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2007


  • psychosis
  • aggression
  • irritability
  • depression
  • SERT
  • 5HTT and SLC6A4

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