Alzheimer's vaccine 'promising'

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    Alzheimer's vaccine 'promising'
    A potential DNA vaccine for Alzheimer's disease has produced promising results in mice.


    In tests it helped cut levels of key amyloid proteins thought to cause the disease by up to 50% in some parts of the brain.

    And unlike alternative vaccines in development, which use viruses, it produced no side effects.

    The Japanese study appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    "This work represents a promising new line of vaccine development" said Dr Clive Holmes.

    Over-production of amyloid proteins are thought to trigger symptoms of Alzheimer's by forming clumps that litter the brain.

    Previous studies have shown that it is possible to stimulate the immune system of mice to attack these plaques if they are immunised with amyloid protein.

    This approach has been tested in preliminary trials on humans, but early results showed that the immune response was too strong, leading to damaging swelling of the brain, as well as plaque destruction.

    New studies in man are currently underway that hope to mobilise the immune response in a less aggressive manner so that plaques are destroyed, but brain swelling is avoided.

    Gentle response

    The latest approach, developed by a team at Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience, works by stimulating the body to produce small amounts of amyloid protein itself.

    Mice are injected with naked DNA that codes for these proteins, rather than relying on a special virus to get it into the cell.

    This has the effect of producing a more gentle immune response, and importantly the DNA has also been designed so that it is not capable of replicating itself by incorporating itself into the human genome.

    In tests, the latest vaccine reduced the deposition of amyloid proteins by between 15.5% and 38.5% compared with untreated mice.

    Deposition in specific areas of the brain - the cerebral cortex and hippocampus - was reduced 40%-50%.

    The researchers suggest that DNA vaccines of the type they have produced could provide a cheap and effective strategy for treating Alzheimer's in future.

    Dr Clive Holmes, of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said the Toyko study held great promise.

    He said: "This work represents a promising new line of vaccine development but more research would be needed to see if this could be replicated safely in humans."

    Dr Susanne Sorensen, of the Alzheimer's Society, agreed that the fact that the vaccine appeared safe was significant.

    She said: "The findings support the idea that a vaccine is our best hope for fighting this devastating disease for which there is currently no cure."

    Story from BBC NEWS:
    BBC NEWS | Health | Alzheimer's vaccine 'promising'

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    So you can possibly prevent it but nothing about stopping it mid stream or reversing effects?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    So you can possibly prevent it but nothing about stopping it mid stream or reversing effects?
    The word "vaccine" implies that but the text of the article indicates that it reverses amyloid build-up, so I'm guessing that there is a treatment.
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    I hope so my Grandmother has it and is degrading fast...I know it'll be too late for her but watching it happen to someone I know has really made me realize how painful this disease is to people. Selfishly I also hope this works since the chances of me getting this seems pretty good.
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    Unhappy


    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    I hope so my Grandmother has it and is degrading fast...I know it'll be too late for her but watching it happen to someone I know has really made me realize how painful this disease is to people. Selfishly I also hope this works since the chances of me getting this seems pretty good.
    Sorry to hear that about your grandmother.
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    your not alone, in january we had to put my grandmother in a nursing home for it. we couldn't care for her at home anymore. I hope they figure something out soon, no one else need to ever go through this, in a lot of ways this is worse then cancer.
  

  
 

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