Experts closer to Alzheimer’s vaccine

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Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. (image: Artis Rams via Flickr)

Alzheimer’s disease may soon be prevented with a new vaccine developed by a team of researchers from Australia and the United States.

The team up resulted in the discovery of a formulation that could successfully aim at specific brain proteins responsible in the development as well as progression of the illness. This is possible through a vaccine combination that produces antibodies that target beta-amyloid and tau proteins found in the brain.

Petrovsky, a co-author of the said research explained in an interview that, “[The proteins are] a bit like the car in your driveway,” “You need to remove them from the brain otherwise if you left broken down cars in your driveway eventually you couldn’t get out.”

In a journal, Scientific Reports, the group assured that such formulation is proven safe and effective based on their experiments and trials with mouse models. Aside from that, targeting the beta-amyloid and tau proteins was successful even in human brain tissues.

In their study, Petrovsky and his team found out that their compound was not only effective but also well-tolerated. Unlike other formulations, there were no reports of serious side effects.

If the experiments continue to provide satisfying results in their preclinical trials, the team will be testing human subjects in the next 3-5 years. These trials will be administered to subjects at high risk for Alzheimer’s or even individuals showing symptoms in the early stages of the disease.

Hundreds of clinical trials conducted worldwide assessed the ability and safety of different Alzheimer-fighting compounds but the success rate fell to 0.4% with only one new drug surviving the elimination. However, the remaining formulation only induces a remedy to Alzheimer’s symptoms.

This almost failure in finding the perfect compound urged the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to increase the funding for Alzheimer’s research – and finally paved the way to the possibility of funding more experiments.