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  • abnormal accumulation of proteins in the brain is associated with dementia

  • immunization against amyloid-beta in Alzheimer’s disease to prevent the onset of amyloid-beta accumulation is currently under investigation

  • in transgenic mouse models, active immunization with amyloid-beta results in the removal of amyloid-beta plaques via the generation of amyloid-beta antibodies  resulting in improvement in cognitive function [7]

  • an active peptide vaccine consisting of amyloid-beta antibodies was halted in 2002 because 6 percent of participants developed complications such as neurological decline, lymphocytosis of the cerebrospinal fluid and altered signal intensities in cerebral white matter [8]

  • active immunization schedules are being developed to minimize T lymphocyte reactions and to maximize antibody production and passive immunization protocols are being devised [7]

  • immunotherapy for removal of the proteins which accumulate in other neurodegenerative disorders associated with dementia such as prion proteins and synuclein are in the early stages of development [8]

Other Medications

  • anti-depressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants and monamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) have all been used

  • medications to treat behavioural symptoms of dementia i.e. agitation, psychosis, mood swings etc. such as antipsychotics, neuroleptics are also commonly used to try and help people with dementia



7. Boche D, Nicoll J, Weller R. Immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. Current Opinion in Neurology 2005; 18(6): 720–725.

8. Orgogozo JM, Gilman S, Dartigues JF. Subacute meningoencephalitis in a subset of patients with AD after Abeta42 immunization. Neurology 2003; 61:46–54.

All references for this section