A new therapeutic approach is being developed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This approach involves the deliberate induction of an autoimmune response to amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide, the constituent of neuritic plaques that is thought to cause the neurodegeneration and dementia in AD. If this approach is to be effective, antibodies must be produced that can selectively target the toxic forms of Abeta, while leaving the functionally-relevant forms of Abeta and its precursor protein untouched. Furthermore, an approach needs to be found that avoids provoking an acute neuroinflammatory response. The situation is made even more challenging by uncertainty regarding which isoforms of Abeta contribute to the pathogenesis of AD.