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Immunol Rev. 2005 Jun;205:244-56.

The immune system, amyloid-beta peptide, and Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


In this review, the case is made that amyloid-beta peptide in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease is a primary cause of the disease and that immunotherapy directed against this peptide has the potential to halt and/or reverse disease progression. This supposition is supported by the capacity of anti-beta-amyloid peptide antibodies to prevent or reverse the disease in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, preliminary results obtained in a small number of patients with Alzheimer's disease are consistent with the observations made in the mouse model of this disease. We review the relationship between the immune system, amyloid-beta peptide, and Alzheimer's disease and the progress made in applying immunotherapy to patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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