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Neurosci Lett. 2010 Dec 17;486(3):193-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.09.050. Epub 2010 Oct 1.

Cholinesterase inhibitor use is associated with increased plasma levels of anti-Aβ 1-42 antibodies in Alzheimer's disease patients.

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Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Technologies, University of Milano-Bicocca, San Gerardo Hospital, Via Cadore 48, 20052 Monza (MI), Italy.


Acetyl-cholinesterase inhibitors (AChEI) are drugs frequently prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), exerting an effect on cognition, as well as on behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and activities of daily living. The efficacy of AChEI may be ascribed not only to the activation of cholinergic transmission, but also to other mechanisms, among which a putative regulation of the immune response has already been hypothesized. In the present study, we evaluated, in a cross-sectional sample of 66AD patients and 48 healthy controls, the putative influence of AChEI on anti-Abeta 1-42 antibody plasma levels by ELISA assay. AD patients receiving AChEI therapy showed increased plasma levels of anti-Abeta 1-42 antibodies respect to untreated AD patients and antibodies levels similar to those of healthy controls, both before and after normalization by total IgG values. Our results support a potential role of AChEI in the modulation of the immune response against Abeta. We suggest that a strategy aimed at increasing the endogenous response against this peptide might represent an interesting therapeutic target to be further investigated.

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