It has become increasingly clear that inflammatory processes play a significant role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Neuroinflammation is characterized by the activation of astrocytes and microglia and the release of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Vascular inflammation, mediated largely by the products of endothelial activation, is accompanied by the production and the release of a host of inflammatory factors which contribute to vascular, immune, and neuronal dysfunction. The complex interaction of these processes is still only imperfectly understood, yet as the mechanisms continue to be elucidated, targets for intervention are revealed. Although many of the studies to date on therapeutic or preventative strategies for AD have been narrowly focused on single target therapies, there is accumulating evidence to suggest that the most successful treatment strategy will likely incorporate a sequential, multifactorial approach, addressing direct neuronal support, general cardiovascular health, and interruption of deleterious inflammatory pathways.
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