Immune attack: the role of inflammation in Alzheimer disease

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015 Jun;16(6):358-72. doi: 10.1038/nrn3880.


The past two decades of research into the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD) have been driven largely by the amyloid hypothesis; the neuroinflammation that is associated with AD has been assumed to be merely a response to pathophysiological events. However, new data from preclinical and clinical studies have established that immune system-mediated actions in fact contribute to and drive AD pathogenesis. These insights have suggested both novel and well-defined potential therapeutic targets for AD, including microglia and several cytokines. In addition, as inflammation in AD primarily concerns the innate immune system - unlike in 'typical' neuroinflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis and encephalitides - the concept of neuroinflammation in AD may need refinement.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / immunology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / pathology*