A team of Californian researchers has developed a new vaccine that removed dementia plaques from the brain of mice. Previous research showed that agglomerations of amyloid-beta and tau proteins would lead to the appearance of plaques that accelerate neurodegeneration and cognitive decline.
After the vaccine was administered to mice, the researchers observed that levels of amyloid-beta and tau declined. It is theorized that the presence of tau clumps in brain scans could signal the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at a later point.
According to official statistics, more than 850,000 people in the UK face issues related to dementia. It is estimated that approximately 62% of these patients are affected by Alzheimer’s, which is the most common form of dementia. Data released by the Alzheimer’s Association states that more than 5.8 million people are affected by the disease in the US.
Alzheimer’s Disease Vaccine Could Enter Human Trials In Two Years
Many of the mechanics related to the appearance and evolution of Alzheimer’s remain a mystery, and there is no effective strategy that could anticipate or prevent the condition. Some trials have strived to reduce the accumulation of either amyloid-beta or tau plaques, but they were not effective.
Studies on animals suggest that the two proteins can act as a duo to trigger and increase cognitive decline. An approach that focuses on both proteins could be more effective in the long run, paving the way towards the appearance of an effective treatment.
Two vaccine versions were tested on mice that were affected by amyloid-beta and tau plaques. Observations revealed that both batches contributed to the generation of efficient immune-fighting proteins that can counter both proteins. The results infer that the vaccine could be quite useful, but further research related to long-term use before human trials will be approved. Only time will tell if the treatment will work in the long run. A paper was published in a scientific journal.