Alzheimer's disease: Is a vaccine possible?

R. P.S. Alves, M. J. Yang, M. T. Batista, L. C.S. Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The cause of Alzheimer's disease is still unknown, but the disease is distinctively characterized by the accumulation of bamyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. These features have become the primary focus of much of the research looking for new treatments for the disease, including immunotherapy and vaccines targeting β-amyloid in the brain. Adverse effects observed in a clinical trial based on the β-amyloid protein were attributed to the presence of the target antigen and emphasized the relevance of finding safer antigen candidates for active immunization. For this kind of approach, different vaccine formulations using DNA, peptide, and heterologous prime-boost immunization regimens have been proposed. Promising results are expected from different vaccine candidates encompassing B-cell epitopes of the b-amyloid protein. In addition, recent results indicate that targeting another protein involved in the etiology of the disease has opened new perspectives for the effective prevention of the illness. Collectively, the evidence indicates that the idea of finding an effective vaccine for the control of Alzheimer's disease, although not without challenges, is a possibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-444
Number of pages7
JournalBrazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Active immunization
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Vaccine
  • β-amyloid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • General Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Cell Biology


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