The serotonin transporter in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

  • R. Mössner
  • A. Schmitt
  • Y. Syagailo
  • M. Gerlach
  • P. Riederer
  • K. P. Lesch
Conference paper


The etiology of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD) is not known. In both disorders there is an extensive degeneration of serotonergic neurons, with corresponding losses of the serotonin (5HT) transporter (5HTT), which is responsible for the reuptake of 5HT from the synaptic cleft. An increasing body of evidence indicates that allelic variation of the 5HTT gene promoter (5HTT gene-linked polymorphic region, 5HTTLPR) determines high or low 5HT uptake in normal human brain. Association studies show that the low-activity allele of the 5HTTLPR is a risk factor for late-onset AD. In PD, the 5HTTLPR influences the risk of developing depression, a common symptom in PD patients. A compromised serotonergic system thus plays an important role in the pathophysiology of both AD and PD.


Serotonin Transporter Raphe Nucleus Serotonergic Neuron Short Allele Serotonin Transporter Gene 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Mössner
    • 1
  • A. Schmitt
    • 2
  • Y. Syagailo
    • 2
  • M. Gerlach
    • 2
  • P. Riederer
    • 2
  • K. P. Lesch
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgFederal Republic of Germany

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