Inflammation and Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis

Neurobiol Aging. Sep-Oct 1996;17(5):681-6. doi: 10.1016/0197-4580(96)00115-7.


Appreciation of the role that inflammatory mediators play in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis continues to be hampered by two related misconceptions. The first is that to be pathogenically significant a neurodegenerative mechanism must be primary. The second is that inflammation merely occurs to clear the detritis of already existent pathology. The present review addresses these issues by showing that 1) inflammatory molecules and mechanisms are uniquely present or significantly elevated in the AD brain, 2) inflammation may be a necessary component of AD pathogenesis, 3) inflammation may be sufficient to cause AD neurodegeneration, and 4) retrospective and direct clinical trials suggest a therapeutic benefit of conventional antiinflammatory medications in slowing the progress or even delaying the onset of AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Inflammation Mediators / physiology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Inflammation Mediators