Mechanisms of Alzheimer's Immunotherapy

A snapshot of some of the present work on developing an Alzheimer's vaccine can be found at Medical News Today: "One of the things those earlier immunotherapy studies taught us was that antibodies can reduce amyloid plaques, which are a hallmark of the disease. The next logical question was -- how does it do that? ... Instead of working outside the cell, we discovered that these antibodies to beta amyloid bind with a specific part of amyloid precursor protein (APP) -- a precursor molecule to beta amyloid -- as it lies on the outside of the affected cell. This complex then gets internalized within the cell, where it works to decrease levels of amyloid peptides, the building block of plaques that are found outside and between cells ... How might antibodies working inside neurons decrease exterior plaque levels? The researchers still aren't sure, but they have already ruled out some of the most obvious answers ... What is clear from the study is that immune-based therapy does work to rid brain cells of amyloid -- giving new impetus to the search for a safe, effective Alzheimer's vaccine."



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