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Rev Neurol. 2006 Apr 1-15;42(7):433-8.

[Inflammation and Alzheimer's disease].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Sección de Neurología, Hospital Severo Ochoa, Madrid, Spain.



Although Alzheimer's disease (AD) has not been traditionally regarded as an inflammatory process, there is an innate chronic inflammatory reaction in the affected tissues. The most important elements of this reaction are the activation of the phagocytic cells (microglia) with the production of cytokines and toxic substances, and the activation of the complement system.


Inflammation is considered an important, although secondary, element in the pathogenesis of AD. It has been observed in epidemiological studies and in laboratory that treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs delays the appearance of AD. There are still no studies in humans that recommend the use of these drugs on a generalized way.


The therapeutic targets given by the study of the inflammatory system in the brain are under investigation to obtain new drugs with less adverse effects. Those drugs could be used as primary and secondary prevention of AD.

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