Microglia as a Possible Alternative Therapeutic for Dementia

J Alzheimers Dis Rep. 2024 Jan 12;8(1):43-56. doi: 10.3233/ADR-230112. eCollection 2024.


Dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, behavior, and the ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are the most common forms of dementia. There is evidence supporting the hypothesis that inflammatory and immune mechanisms are involved in dementia. Microglia, the resident macrophage tissues in the central nervous system, play a significant role in neuroinflammation and play an important role in amyloid-β clearance in the brain, and impaired microglial clearance of amyloid-β has also been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. However, there is also abundant evidence that microglia have harmful actions in dementia. Once activated, they can mediate uptake at neuronal synapses. They can also exacerbate tau pathology and secrete deleterious inflammatory factors that can directly or indirectly damage neurons. Thus, depending on the stage of the disease, microglia can act both protectively and detrimentally. Therefore, it is still necessary to continue with studies to better understand the role of microglia in the pathology of dementia. Currently available drugs can only improve cognitive symptoms, have no impact on progression and are not curative, so identifying and studying new therapeutic approaches is important. Considering the role played by microglia in this pathology, it has been pointed out as a possible therapeutic approach. This manuscript aims to address the relationship between microglia and dementia and how this relationship could be used for therapeutic purposes.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; dementia; microglia; vascular dementia.

Publication types

  • Review