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The association of microbial infection and adaptive immune cell activation in Alzheimer's disease

Clement, Mathew ORCID: 2023. The association of microbial infection and adaptive immune cell activation in Alzheimer's disease. Discovery Immunology 2 (1) , kyad015. 10.1093/discim/kyad015

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder and the most common form of dementia. Early symptoms include the loss of memory and mild cognitive ability; however, as the disease progresses, these symptoms can present with increased severity manifesting as mood and behaviour changes, disorientation, and a loss of motor/body control. AD is one of the leading causes of death in the UK, and with an ever-increasing ageing society, patient numbers are predicted to rise posing a significant global health emergency. AD is a complex neurophysiological disorder where pathology is characterized by the deposition and aggregation of misfolded amyloid-beta (Aβ)-protein that in-turn promotes excessive tau-protein production which together drives neuronal cell dysfunction, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration. It is widely accepted that AD is driven by a combination of both genetic and immunological processes with recent data suggesting that adaptive immune cell activity within the parenchyma occurs throughout disease. The mechanisms behind these observations remain unclear but suggest that manipulating the adaptive immune response during AD may be an effective therapeutic strategy. Using immunotherapy for AD treatment is not a new concept as the only two approved treatments for AD use antibody-based approaches to target Aβ. However, these have been shown to only temporarily ease symptoms or slow progression highlighting the urgent need for newer treatments. This review discusses the role of the adaptive immune system during AD, how microbial infections may be contributing to inflammatory immune activity and suggests how adaptive immune processes can pose as therapeutic targets for this devastating disease.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
ISSN: 2754-2483
Funders: WCRC, SIURI
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 December 2023
Date of Acceptance: 4 September 2023
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2023 12:05

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