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Differences in memory function between 5-HT1A receptor genotypes in patients with major depressive disorder

  • Keith A. Wesnes (a1) (a2) (a3), Seth C. Hopkins (a4), Helen J. Brooker (a1) and Kenneth S. Koblan (a4)



While extensive literature on the role of the serotonin receptor 1A (5-HT1A-R) in cognition exists, the findings are largely from animal studies. There has been little research conducted into 5-HT1A-R genotypes and cognitive function in humans. This article evaluates the role of 5-HT1A-R genotypes on the profile of cognitive function in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).


The study sample was 455 MDD patients aged between 18 and 55 years. They had enrolled into a clinical trial and were tested prior to dosing on the baseline study day using the CDR System, an integrated set of 3 attention tests, 2 working memory tests, and 4 episodic memory tests. 5-HT1A-R genotyping for (SNP ID rs6295) had been conducted during the study screening period.


Validated factor scores were derived from the 9 tests. It was found that patients with the C/C genotype for the C(1019)G polymorphism of the 5-HT1A-R were significantly superior in retaining and retrieving information, in both working and episodic memory, than those with either the C/G or the G/G genotypes. No differences were found in measures of attention or in the speed of retrieval of information from memory.


This is, to our knowledge, the first relationship found between objective tests of cognitive function and 5-HT1A-R genotypes in MDD.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Professor K. A. Wesnes, Wesnes Cognition Ltd. Little Paddock, Streatley Hill, Streatley on Thames, RG8 9RD, UK. (Email:


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Differences in memory function between 5-HT1A receptor genotypes in patients with major depressive disorder

  • Keith A. Wesnes (a1) (a2) (a3), Seth C. Hopkins (a4), Helen J. Brooker (a1) and Kenneth S. Koblan (a4)


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