Can anti-inflammatory treatments be of benefit to Alzheimer's Disease sufferers? Neuroinflammation and Alzheimer's Disease

Alison Lindsay, Jill McVee, Gayle Helane Doherty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, affecting millions of people worldwide. There are numerous different pathologies of Alzheimer’s disease, the two characteristic ones being extracellular amyloid-beta plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. Both amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are formed from mutated forms of proteins that occur naturally in the human body, amyloid β and tau respectively. Neuroinflammation is considered a third key pathology in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Glial cells, microglia and astrocytes in particular, are specialised immune cells which are activated in neuroinflammation. When these cells become activated, several inflammatory mediators, including pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, are produced. Pro-inflammatory cytokines have been seen to be increased in
Alzheimer’s disease, and anti-inflammatory ones decreased. Research has shown that a reduction in pro-inflammatory and an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines could be beneficial to Alzheimer’s disease sufferers. It is hypothesised that anti-inflammatory treatment targeting these inflammatory mediators could therefore have beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s disease. General anti-inflammatory treatments, such as non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs have shown potential in Alzheimer’s disease prevention. Many patient-based, in vitro and in vivo studies have reported positive results, namely a reduced
Alzheimer’s disease risk or reduced Alzheimer’s disease pathology. In general, antiinflammatory treatment does show some promise for Alzheimer’s patients, however further research is required before it can become a real possibility.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMetabolic Influences on Neurological Disorders
EditorsGayle H. Doherty
PublisherTransworld research network
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)978-81-7895-481-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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