Immune activation and inflammation, likely triggered by amyloid-beta (Aβ) deposition, play a remarkable role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which is the most frequent cause of dementia in the elderly. The principal cellular elements of the brain innate immune system likely to be involved in such processes are microglia. In an attempt to search for new disease-modifying drugs, the immune system has been addressed, with the aim of removing deposition of Aβ or tau by developing vaccines and humanized monoclonal antibodies. The aim of this review is to summarize the current evidence regarding the role played by microglia and inflammatory molecules in the pathogenesis of AD. In addition, we will discuss the main active and passive immunotherapeutic approaches. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel
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