Central nervous system immune reactions in Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a relentlessly progressive dementing disorder with an incidence that increases very sharply with age. Of the many potential bases for neurodegeneration in AD, immune-directed attack is one of the most easily conceived because such processes are inherently destructive. Typically, this destruction is beneficial to the host, as in the warding off of extrinsic pathogens. Sometimes it is not, as in autoimmune diseases. This chapter describes evidence that there is a prominent immune response in AD. Particular attention is given to the autodestructive forces that are inherent to such a response, and the potential harm they can cause. The possibility of ameliorating such damage through the use of anti-inflammatory drugs is discussed.
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