Alzheimer’s disease is thought to affect 37 million people worldwide, and there is evidence to suggest that inflammation can contribute to Alzheimer’s and exacerbate the course of the disease. A review published in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy discusses inflammatory reactions in Alzheimer’s, which are still considered to be downstream effects of the accumulated proteins believed to trigger disease – amyloid beta and tau.
But the more recent “inflammation hypothesis” suggests it may be possible to alter the immune system and direct it towards the clearance of these amyloid and tau proteins. Anti-inflammatory drugs and immunization against amyloid beta have been considered but initial clinical trials have shown mixed results.
Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy
(22 January 2010)
If it will be necessary to approach research from multiple directions to defeat this devastating condition, Zotova and colleagues suggest that addressing neuro-immune interactions involved throughout the disease course might help devise future therapeutic strategies.