Alzheimer’s Vaccine–Are We Any Closer to Developing One?

Nov 28th, 2017 | By | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Alzheimer’s Vaccine Explored

Is the science world any closer to developing a much-needed Alzheimer’s vaccine? Recent studies show that it may very well be the case. An Alzheimer’s disease vaccine would help prevent the horrible disease, which according to the Texas Health and Human Services, affects one in ten Americans over the age of 65.

Several universities in Switzerland and the United Kingdom have undergone extensive research on this matter and have revealed that a new vaccine originally meant to treat and possibly cure cat allergies and psoriasis, has shown potential in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, which was published in the medical journal Nature Vaccines, was led by dermatologist John Foerster, a clinical senior lecturer at the University of Dundee in Scotland, United Kingdom and Martin Bachman, professor of vaccinology with the Jenner Institute in Oxford, United Kingdom.

Together with their research team, Foerster and Bachman created a new vaccine by merging a new protein found inside a virus that commonly attacks plants, called the CMV, or the cucumber mosaic virus, with an accessible anti-tetanus vaccine, more accurately, an existing tetanus-epitope, which is a part of the tetanus virus that is inactive and is meant to elicit an immune response from the human body. The resulted new vaccine was tested in the lab, on mice for efficacy against cat allergies, psoriasis, and Alzheimer’s disease and the results were quite promising. It will be years before clinical trials with people can begin, but according to the scientists, this is a breakthrough that will most likely lead to something of value.

The results revealed that the vaccine increased the levels of particular antibodies, called immunoglobin G, that are believed to protect against the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. These antibodies are known to identify and fight against the marker of Azlheimer’s disease in the brain, which is the aggregates of beta-amyloid plaque. The more immunoglobin G, the better protected against Alzheimer’s disease.

With this in mind, the researchers were confident to state that a prophylactic vaccine could potentially be a viable solution against the development of the disease. Still, more extensive research is needed to test the humans’ response to the vaccine. And it could be more than a decade, if the tests are successful, before the vaccine hits the market.

Professor Bachman commented on the results of the study:

“Alzheimer’s disease usually develops in elderly people. The fact that the vaccine described here is optimized for old individuals seems therefore particularly helpful. An additional important aspect, is that we developed a platform technology and are currently broadening our preclinical studies to vaccines against Parkinson’s disease as well as chronic pain.”

The vaccine has also proven to be effective against cat allergies and psoriasis, chronic conditions with no cure. The vaccine has shown high levels of success even in old mice and at low doses, which is highly promising.

In the case of psoriasis, a protein named Interleukin 17 is needed to be active in order for the disease to advance. At the moment, there are drugs that at the moment can target this protein, but they are highly expensive. A vaccine that would stimulate the human body to create its own I17 protein would eliminate the need for the expensive drugs and help the body help itself.

Doctor Foerster explains:

“We can make this type of treatment much more affordable and accessible to patients who could otherwise not afford specially made antibodies. Our research shows that this technique works in mice and, importantly, our new vaccine technology shows that it is likely to be a more effective type of vaccine than existing ones in older people. Since many patients with chronic conditions like psoriasis are elderly, this technology may work much better.”

Alzheimer’s Disease – What We Know

Did you know that less than 5% of the time, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by particular changes in the genetic markup of an individual that guarantees that the person will eventually develop the disease? The rest of time, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a combination of environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors. In other words, we don’t really know what causes this horrible illness.

In the brain, the disease is caused by the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaque, that destroys the brain cells, as well as tangles, where threads of tau proteins will twist into tangles inside the cells in the brain, causing them to stop transporting the nutrients and other vital materials. But what exactly causes the accumulation of plaque and the tangles is not yet known.

Risk factors include age (a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases greatly after the age of 65), family history, genetics, sex (women are more likely to develop the disease than men are), Down syndrome, past head trauma, and lifestyle (lack of exercise, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, poor diet).

A recent study performed by the scientists at the University of Arizona Health Sciences in Tucson along with the researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, revealed that the metabolic changes that happen inside the brains of premenopausal and menopausal women could lead to developing Alzheimer’s disease. The main culprit is thought to be the loss of estrogen, as well as low glucose brain metabolism.

Also, there are some studies out there that have linked asbestos to dementia and even Alzheimer’s-type lesions in the brain. If for risk factors such as age and genetics, you can’t really do anything to protect yourself, when it comes to asbestos, you can start by removing yourself from any environment that contains this dangerous chemical. Needless to say, if your house has asbestos, do not attempt to remove it yourself, always call for asbestos removal specialists.

We should have to wait and see, if a vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease gets developed in the near future. Until then, all one needs to do is pay attention to their general health, have regular check-ups, and keep the brain active. Read, do puzzles, learn new things every day, and make an effort in everything you do.

For more information on this discovery, please follow the links to the research inserted in the article. If you have anything you would like to share with us and our readers, feel free to drop us a line in the comment section below. We love hearing from our readers!

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