Summary:  In this review, the case is made that amyloid-β peptide in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease is a primary cause of the disease and that immunotherapy directed against this peptide has the potential to halt and/or reverse disease progression. This supposition is supported by the capacity of anti-β-amyloid peptide antibodies to prevent or reverse the disease in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, preliminary results obtained in a small number of patients with Alzheimer's disease are consistent with the observations made in the mouse model of this disease. We review the relationship between the immune system, amyloid-β peptide, and Alzheimer's disease and the progress made in applying immunotherapy to patients with Alzheimer's disease.