Immunology and immunotherapy of Alzheimer's disease

Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 May;6(5):404-16. doi: 10.1038/nri1843.


Although Alzheimer's disease is considered to be a degenerative brain disease, it is clear that the immune system has an important role in the disease process. As discussed in this Review, immune-based therapies that are designed to remove amyloid-beta peptide from the brain have produced positive results in animal models of the disease and are being tested in humans with Alzheimer's disease. Although immunotherapy holds great promise for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, clinical trials of active amyloid-beta vaccination of patients with Alzheimer's disease were discontinued after some patients developed meningoencephalitis. New immunotherapies using humoral and cell-based approaches are currently being investigated for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / immunology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*