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Associations between cognition and serotonin 1B receptor availability in healthy volunteers – A [ 11C]AZ10419369 Positron Emission Tomography study

Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2022 Dec 27:pyac084. doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyac084. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The serotonin system has been implicated in several psychiatric disorders. All major psychiatric disorders are associated with cognitive impairment, but treatment improving cognitive deficits is lacking partly due to limited understanding of the neurobiology of cognitive functioning. Several markers for the serotonin system have been associated with cognitive functions. Our research group has previously reported a positive correlation between serotonin 5-HT1B receptor availability in the dorsal brainstem and visuospatial memory in a pilot study of healthy subjects. Here, we aim to replicate our previous finding in a larger group of healthy volunteers as well as to investigate putative associations between 5-HT1B receptor availability and other cognitive domains.

METHODS: Forty-three healthy subjects were examined with positron emission tomography using the 5-HT1B receptor radioligand [ 11C]AZ10419369 and a visuospatial memory test to replicate our previous finding, as well as tests of verbal fluency, cognitive flexibility, reaction time and planning ability to explore other domains potentially associated with the serotonin system.

RESULTS: Replication analysis revealed no statistically significant association between 5-HT1B receptor availability in the dorsal brainstem and visuospatial memory performance. Exploratory analyses showed age-adjusted correlations between 5-HT1B receptor availability in whole brain gray matter and specific brain regions, and number of commission errors, reaction time and planning ability.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher 5-HT1B receptor availability was associated with more false positive responses and faster reaction time, but lower performance in planning and problem-solving. These results corroborate previous research supporting an important role of the serotonin system in impulsive behavior and planning ability.

PMID:36573320 | DOI:10.1093/ijnp/pyac084

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