Immunological Aspects and Anti-Amyloid Strategy for Alzheimer’s Dementia

Open access

Abstract

Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) is the most common form of dementia among the elderly, accounting for at least two-thirds of all dementia cases. It represents a costly burden, since its global prevalence is estimated at 24 million cases. Amyloid beta or Aβ plaques and neurofibrillary tangles define AD pathologically but do not fully explain it, because dementia may also be caused by inflammation resulting in neuronal, axonal synaptic loss and dysfunction. An important component of AD pathophysiology are amyloid plaques surrounded by activated microglia, cytokines, and complement components, suggesting inflammation. In the diagnosis of AD, cerebrospinal fluid markers, especially in vivo amyloid measurements, contribute to an accurate assessment of AD pathology and differential diagnosis. Aβ levels are a very good marker for the presence of amyloid deposits in the brain, while total tau and phosphorylated tau are useful for the detection of neurodegeneration. The implementation of anti-amyloid therapy and other disease-modifying interventions may have immense clinical impact if initiated at an early or presymptomatic stage of AD, before significant brain damage occurs. This paper briefly reviews the abovementioned topics and provides recommendations for future studies.

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