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Much research is now focused on a potential vaccine for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Current studies involve administering the amyloid β peptide (Aβ) in Freund's complete adjuvant, which cannot be used in humans. Our studies show that the immune complex of Aβ is taken up by a receptor-mediated process at the blood–brain barrier (BBB). The success of immunization for AD, therefore, may be critically dependent on circulating Aβ levels which are lower in AD patients compared to AD transgenic mice. Moreover, we have found that modifying the antibody with polyamine increases its BBB permeability and may provide a better approach to passive immunization for Alzheimer's disease.