Alzeimer's disease is the leading cause of cognitive decline in western societies and its incidence rises with age. With the increase in life expectancy, the prevalence of this devastating disease is increasing and the economic burden of caring for these patients will rise. In the year 2000 there were 4.5 million AD patients in the US with an annual health expenditures of over 83 billion dollars. Currently, the treatment of Alzheimer's disease is mostly symptomatic and includes cholinesterase inhibitors and psychotropic drugs . These treatments do not address basic pathophysiological mechanisms leading to the cognitive decline and have only a marginal role in disease modification. The lack of effective therapy or prevention of this common and increasingly prevalent disease led to the search for more effective therapies designed to attack the suspect molecular culprits of the disease: the neurotoxic amyloid-beta (Aβ) aggregates. An important novel approach to AD is to harness the immune system to attack and dissolve Aβ aggregates, leading to improvement in cognitive functions. The purpose of this review is to provide a current overview as well as future prospects of immune-based approaches for the treatment of AD.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Research and Practice in Alzheimer's Disease|
|State||Published - 2007|