HEALTH: Alzheimer’s Vaccine Progress

The website Medical News Today has an interesting new article in which it reveals that a vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease could be trialed in humans within the next 3-5 years. the website reports that researchers from the United States and Australia have uncovered a formulation that they say successfully targets brain proteins that play a role in development and progression of the disease.

Study co-author Prof. Nikolai Petrovsky, of Flinders University School of Medicine in Australia, and colleagues reveal how a vaccine combination generates antibodies that target beta-amyloid and tau proteins in the brain – both of which are considered hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Beta-amyloid is known to accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, forming plaques, while the tau protein forms tangles. Plaques and tangles are believed to disrupt signaling between nerve cells and contribute to nerve cell death.

“[The proteins are] a bit like the car in your driveway,” Prof. Petrovsky explained to ABC Adelaide. “You need to remove them from the brain otherwise if you left broken down cars in your driveway eventually you couldn’t get out.”

“Essentially that’s what happens in people who get Alzheimer’s or dementia is they have lots of these broken down proteins in the brain.”

Reporting in the journal Scientific Reports, the team describes how the vaccine formulation has proven safe and effective in mouse models of Alzheimer’s, and it has also successfully targeted beta-amyloid and tau proteins in human brain tissue.

Read the full article on Medical News Today

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