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Immunotherapy

  • abnormal accumulation of proteins in the brain is associated with dementia

  • immunization against amyloid-beta in Alzheimer’s disease to prevent the onset of amyloid-beta accumulation is currently under investigation

  • in transgenic mouse models, active immunization with amyloid-beta results in the removal of amyloid-beta plaques via the generation of amyloid-beta antibodies  resulting in improvement in cognitive function [7]

  • an active peptide vaccine consisting of amyloid-beta antibodies was halted in 2002 because 6 percent of participants developed complications such as neurological decline, lymphocytosis of the cerebrospinal fluid and altered signal intensities in cerebral white matter [8]

  • active immunization schedules are being developed to minimize T lymphocyte reactions and to maximize antibody production and passive immunization protocols are being devised [7]

  • immunotherapy for removal of the proteins which accumulate in other neurodegenerative disorders associated with dementia such as prion proteins and synuclein are in the early stages of development [8]

Other Medications

  • anti-depressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants and monamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) have all been used

  • medications to treat behavioural symptoms of dementia i.e. agitation, psychosis, mood swings etc. such as antipsychotics, neuroleptics are also commonly used to try and help people with dementia

     

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7. Boche D, Nicoll J, Weller R. Immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. Current Opinion in Neurology 2005; 18(6): 720–725.

8. Orgogozo JM, Gilman S, Dartigues JF. Subacute meningoencephalitis in a subset of patients with AD after Abeta42 immunization. Neurology 2003; 61:46–54.

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