Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 7 July 2004
Vol. 2004, Issue 27, p. pe29
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2004.27.pe29]


Immunotherapy for Alzheimer's Disease

Patrick L. McGeer, and Edith McGeer

The authors are in the Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T1Z3, Canada. E-mail: mcgeerpl{at} (P.L.M.)

Key Words: neuroinflammation • complement • vaccine • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs • innate immune system • adaptive immune system

Abstract: Strong evidence exists indicating that chronic neuroinflammation contributes to the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A major focus of AD-associated research has been amyloid-{beta} (A{beta}) protein deposits. Vaccination with A{beta} stimulates phagocytosis of A{beta} in transgenic mouse models of AD, leading to clearance of the deposits. Similar vaccination in humans with AD has, however, led to meningoencephalitis in some cases. The difference probably depends on the initial level of brain inflammation, which is much higher in bona fide AD in humans than in the transgenic mice. Because both pro- and anti-inflammatory activation of immune cells are possible, stimulating the phagocytic action of microglia while simultaneously stimulating anti-inflammatory activity might be beneficial in AD.

Citation: P. L. McGeer, E. McGeer, Immunotherapy for Alzheimer's Disease. Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ. 2004 (27), pe29 (2004).

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