Inflammation and therapeutic vaccination in CNS diseases

Nature. 2002 Dec 19-26;420(6917):879-84. doi: 10.1038/nature01325.


The spectrum of inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system has been steadily expanding from classical autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis to far more diverse diseases. Evidence now suggests that syndromes such as Alzheimer's disease and stroke have important inflammatory and immune components and may be amenable to treatment by anti-inflammatory and immunotherapeutic approaches. The notion of 'vaccinating' individuals against a neurodegenerative disorder such as Alzheimer's disease is a marked departure from classical thinking about mechanism and treatment, and yet therapeutic vaccines for both Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis have been validated in animal models and are in the clinic. Such approaches, however, have the potential to induce unwanted inflammatory responses as well as to provide benefit.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / immunology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / immunology
  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications*
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Multiple Sclerosis / etiology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines / immunology
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Antigens
  • Vaccines