Website Search
ID 2180

Immunotherapy fights Alzheimer's disease

Professor Donna Wilcock discusses an exciting finding from her research group that uses immunotherapy to prevent neurofibrillary tangles in mice.
We use amyloid beta immunotherapy as a potential therapeutic intervention in Alzheimer’s disease that would be disease-modifying, meaning that we are modifying one of the pathologies of Alzheimer’s disease. The way this works is just like when you get your measles shot when you are a child. You are given a piece of the measles virus, and your body responds to that to make antibodies, which make you immune so the next time your body sees measles, the antibodies will bind to it and your body removes it before you have any symptoms. So if you take that idea and you take it to Alzheimer’s disease, the approach that we have most recently used is to take the a-beta [amyloid beta] peptide that is a component of an amyloid plaque (the only component), and take this a-beta and stimulate the mouse in our case to make antibodies to the a-beta. So, now the mouse has anti-a-beta antibodies circulating, and by several different mechanisms that have been studied over the last ten years, we know that this antibody will bind to the a-beta and essentially target it for removal by the body. And so, the a-beta gets removed from the brain. What we have most recently shown is that, by doing this, we can now reduce the tau pathology, the neurofibrillary tangles, and we also prevent neuron loss. So this is really encouraging from a standpoint that we have been able to target one of the pathologies of Alzheimer’s disease and affect all of the pathologies of Alzheimer’s disease in a mouse model. And actually this is really the first mouse model that we’ve been able to test this in, because it’s the first mouse model that does have amyloid plaques, tau pathology, and neuron loss.
alzheimer, immunotherapy, treatment, immune, system, antibodies, antibody, tau, pathology, amyloid, plaques, neurofibrillary, tangle, donna, wilcock
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related content:

2227. Alzheimer's disease
An overview of Alzheimer's disease-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
2182. Alzheimer's disease therapy - clinical trials
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses the process of going from a mouse model to human trials for testing the amyloid beta immunization for Alzheimer's disease.
2174. Neuron loss
Professor Donna Wilcock describes how neurofibrillary tangles choke neurons, causing them to die. This is one of three hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
1452. Tau Gene (MAPT)
Neurofibrillary tangles are bundles of tau proteins, which mark the tau gene (MAPT) as a strong candidate for Alzheimer’s disease.
2173. Neurofibrillary tangles
Professor Donna Wilcock describes neurofibrillary tangles, which form inside the neuron in Alzheimer's disease and are composed of tau proteins.
2029. Neurofibrillary tangles and Alzheimer's disease
Professor Kenneth Kosik discusses neurofibrillary tangles, which form inside a cell and are made up of a protein called tau. There is a strong relationship with plaques and amyloid deposition.
2175. Alzheimer's disease medications - Aricept
Professor Donna Wilcock explains that Aricept can only provide short-term benefit in treating Alzheimer's disease.
2172. Amyloid plaques
Professor Donna Wilcock describes amyloid plaques as clumps of protein in the brain that are one of the three hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
1304. Alzheimer's Disease Vaccine?
PBS's 'Secret Life of the Brain' reviews research on the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
1447. Alzheimer's Disease Candidate Genes
Genes that can cause neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques are strongly associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationPublic EventsNewsstandPartner With UsGiving