Active Vaccines for Alzheimer Disease Treatment

Rosalie M. Sterner, Paul Y. Takahashi, Aimee C. Yu Ballard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Introduction Vaccination against peptides specific to Alzheimer disease may generate an immune response that could help inhibit disease and symptom progression. Methods PubMed and Scopus were searched for clinical trial articles, review articles, and preclinical studies relevant to the field of active Alzheimer disease vaccines and raw searches yielded articles ranging from 2016 to 1973. was searched for active Alzheimer disease vaccine trials. Manual research and cross-referencing from reviews and original articles was performed. Results First generation Aβ42 phase 2a trial in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease resulted in cases of meningoencephalitis in 6% of patients, so next generation vaccines are working to target more specific epitopes to induce a more controlled immune response. Difficulty in developing these vaccines resides in striking a balance between providing a vaccine that induces enough of an immune response to actually clear protein sustainably but not so much of a response that results in excess immune activation and possibly adverse effects such as meningoencephalitis. Conclusions Although much work still needs to be done in the field to make this a practical possibility, the enticing allure of being able to treat or even prevent the extraordinarily impactful disease that is Alzheimer disease makes the idea of active vaccination for Alzheimer disease very appealing and something worth striving toward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)862.e11-862.e15
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Alzheimer immunotherapy
  • Alzheimer treatment
  • Alzheimer vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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