An Update on Alzheimer's Vaccine Development

From ScienceDaily: "A new vaccine protects against memory problems associated with Alzheimer's disease, but without potentially dangerous side effects, a new animal study reports. ... Vaccines against amyloid-beta accumulation in the brain, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, have long been considered a promising approach to developing a treatment. But finding a vaccine that is both safe and effective has been challenging. Previous research in mice showed that a vaccine that targets the human version of amyloid-beta reduces learning and memory loss associated with the disease. However, the vaccine caused dangerous autoimmune inflammation of the brain during human clinical trials. ... In the current study, researchers [tested] a vaccine developed against a non-human protein that had the same shape as amyloid-beta, but a different sequence of amino acid building blocks. The Alzheimer's mice that received the vaccine showed improved performance on memory and other cognitive tests. The vaccine also reduced the clumps of amyloid-beta and tau protein that may be toxic to brain cells. ... This finding is important because it shows that you don't need a human protein to get an immune response that will neutralize the toxic amyloid oligomers associated with Alzheimer's disease ... Because the protein was not human, [researchers] believe it is unlikely to cause the dangerous autoimmune response."



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