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Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Sep 1;74(5):329-32. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.04.011. Epub 2013 May 14.

Immunotherapy in Alzheimer's disease: do we have all the pieces of the puzzle?

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  • 1Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, France.


Results of Phase III studies involving a large number of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients treated by passive immunotherapy with humanized anti-amyloid β monoclonal antibodies have recently been released. These approaches failed to show a significant clinical benefit in patients with mild to moderate AD. The most considered explanation is that the patients have been treated too late. Whereas targeting patients at asymptomatic stages of the disease is a critical step in the goal of improving the efficacy of such antibody-based strategies, several other important factors should be considered in the development and clinical evaluation of anti-amyloid β immunotherapies, including the as yet poorly understood relationship of AD with the immune system and the importance of cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Better understanding the role of immune responses in AD and their impact on immunotherapy appears essential in the design of alternative or combinatorial immunotherapy approaches in AD, which may imply effectors other than antibodies and even additional antigenic targets.

Copyright © 2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid beta; antibodies; cellular immunity; cerebral amyloid angiopathy; immunotherapy

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