Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, and is characterised by deposits of amyloid β (Aβ), neurofibrillary tangles and neuronal loss. Neuroinflammatory changes have been identified as a feature of the disease, and recent studies have suggested a potential role for the peripheral immune system in driving these changes and, ultimately, the associated neuronal degeneration. A number of reports have detailed changes in the activation state and subtype of T cells in the circulation and CSF of AD patients and there is evidence of T cell infiltration into the brain. In this review, we examine the possible impact of T cell infiltration in the progression of pathology in AD and consider the data obtained from animal models of the disease. We consider how these cells infiltrate the brain, particularly in AD, and discuss whether the presence of T cells in the AD brain is protective or pathogenic. Finally we evaluate the current therapies, particularly those that involve immunization.
Trinity College Dublin ->