The idea of vaccinating Alzheimer Disease (AD) patients against Ab has been backwards from the start.1 AD is probably already an immune response against Ab, hence the vaccine would worsen AD, not cure it. Evidence that this is indeed the case, comes from the idea that microglia are activated by the treatment. This was, in fact, the very first evidence suggesting an immune cause of AD.2

Astrocytes may also be involved in the response. The problem is that immunologists, for the past 15 years, have been unwilling to recognize that the brain does not require infiltrating T cells to respond to antigens—it has its own immune system, the glia. Exactly how it works is still a mystery, but this failed clinical trial is positive evidence that it does.

A better approach to treatment might be to block the cytokines produced by the already occurring immune...

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