This review focuses on the significance of brain‐reactive antibodies (BRA) to ageassociated cognitive decline and Alzheimerapos;s disease, drawing on evidence available from both human and animal studies. Human studies suggest a relationship between BRA formation, age, and Alzheimerapos;s disease. Experiments with mice indicate that BRA formation and age‐related learning deficits are accelerated following adoptive transfer of immunity from aged to young mice. Furthermore, mice selected for autoimmunity and early formation of BRA also show accelerated, age‐related learning deficits. It is concluded that a further analysis of the nature of BRA and their targets within the nervous system could reveal important immunological influences in cognitive dysfunctions related to aging and Alzheimerapos;s disease. It is suggested that treatments that delay or prevent age‐related immunological dysfunctions be evaluated for their ability to retard age‐associated cognitive decline.
- MRL/MpJ– +
- brain‐reactive antibodies
- immune system
- one‐way active avoidance learning