Immunotherapy is a leading strategy for preventing cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. Administering a monoclonal antibody to beta amyloid aggregates in patients with mild cognitive impairment showed some positive impact on cognitive decline over the course of a year in a clinical trial, but effective dosages are tied to negative side effects. Other monoclonal antibodies tested have shown mixed results, raising the question why some antibodies are better than others and whether we can find an antibody or combination of antibodies that is therapeutically more effective than those already tested individually.
We have devised a novel and innovative screening approach that has the potential to identify individual antibodies associated with protection against AD from the serum of AD-affected and unaffected individuals. We intend to develop this peptide microarray and validate its ability to identify individual anti-amyloid antibodies. Ultimately, we hope to use this screen to identify particular antibodies with therapeutic potential. This information also has the potential of identifying a nonhuman peptide sequence that can be used to elicit a protective immune response to enable the development of a cost-effective and safe vaccine for AD.