The production of a new vaccine could potentially reduce the number of Alzheimer’s cases by half, a new study has revealed.
According to research published in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, special DNA coding in the vaccine could help to trigger an immune response which prevents the build up of two toxic proteins that kill brain cells and cause Alzheimer’s disease.
While the vaccine is not yet available to humans it has been tested on animals with very promising results. The latest study conducted by UT Southwestern Medical Center on mice, found a 40 per cent reduction in the beta-amyloid protein and a 50 per cent reduction in tau protein, with no adverse immune response.
It is believed these two proteins are the cause of Alzheimer’s and that the ability to reduce the levels of them could have major therapeutic value.
“If the onset of the disease could be delayed by even five years, that would be enormous for the patients and their families,” senior author Dr Doris Lambracht-Washington claimed. “The number of dementia cases could drop by half.”
Sadly, no effective treatment for Alzheimers currently exists, however there have been several other therapies researched and tested in clinical trials to target the two proteins in question.
With more than 342,000 Australians living with dementia and at least 44 million people worldwide, UT SouthWestern Alzheimer’s Disease Center Director Dr Roger Rosenberg said a vaccination would be ideal.
The researcher claimed it would be far more accessible and less expensive than other methods currently being tested.
This latest study follows the release of research by the Mount Sinai Hospital that claimed diabetes drugs could reduce impacts of dementia such as abnormal microvasculature and disregulated gene expressions in the brain.
The research published in the PLOS One Journal, was the first study to examine what happens in the brain pathways of Alzheimer’s patients who take medication. It is hoped the results of the study will shape future Alzheimer’s disease studies and potentially offer new therapies that target brain cells that impact Alzheimer’s patients.
Earlier studies by the research team at Mount Sinai showed brains of people with Alzheimer’s and diabetes had fewer lesions than patients with just Alzheimer’s. Researchers determined this was likely due anti-diabetes medications having a protective effect on the brain.