Neuroimmunology of Degenerative Diseases and Stroke
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Degenerative diseases of the nervous system, the most common of which are Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), take a huge toll on the older population, as does atherosclerotic cerebrovascular disease (ASCVD). Any potential preventive or therapeutic approach that might have a positive benefit/risk ratio should be pursued to alleviate this burden. There is evidence that these processes have inflammatory components and that down-regulation of key inflammatory components might ameliorate the degenerative process. This research is still in the developmental stage as of 2011 and there are no anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive medications now being used as a standard of care for any of these diseases, but this may change in the future. The immunology of these diseases is a large and complex area, so only a very brief outline is presented here. Other chronic neurological diseases which may have a immune/inflammatory contribution, such as narcolepsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis will not be discussed, since the available neuroimmunological data is even more fragmentary in these diseases.
KeywordsAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Multiple System Atrophy Senile Plaque Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Chronic Neurological Disease