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This Alzheimer’s prevention vaccine in clinical trial might just be a saviour for the elderly

Updated on:1 January 2020, 14:20pm IST
With absolutely no cure and very little evidence on what exactly causes it, this vaccine for memory loss might can be respite for those at the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
IANS
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A vaccine under clinical trial can prevent memory loss and thus dementia. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Seeing a parent or grandparent fall in the clutches of dementia or Alzheimer’s is one of the most painful experiences of life. The worst part is that there are hardly any explanations as to why these ailments grip the elderly—and absolutely no cure.

But it seems all is not lost as a preventive treatment for dementia may just proceed to clinical trials. A research, the findings of which are published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, is looking to develop effective immunotherapy via a new vaccine to remove ‘brain plaque’ and tau protein aggregates linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

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Also read: 5 things you need to know about caregiving for a parent with Alzheimer’s

The research’s recent success in biogenic mice models might just lead to human trials in years to come.

“These findings warrant further development of this dual vaccination strategy based on the MultiTEP technology for ultimate testing in human Alzheimer’s disease,” said the study lead authors Professor Anahit Ghochikyan and Mathew Blurton-Jones.

Professor Petrovsky said the Advax adjuvant method is a pivotal system to help take the combination MultiTEP-based Aß/tau vaccines therapy, as well as separate vaccines targeting these pathological molecules, to clinical trials – perhaps within two years.

“Our approach is looking to cover all bases and get past previous roadblocks in finding a therapy to slow the accumulation of Aß/tau molecules and delay Alzheimer’s disease progression in the rising number of people around the world,” Petrovsky added.

Several promising drug candidates have failed in clinical trials so the search for new preventions or therapies continues.

A recent report on the human monoclonal antibody, aducanumab, showed that a high dose of this antibody reduced clinical decline in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease as measured by primary and secondary endpoints.

However, it is obvious that it could not be used as a preventive measure in healthy subjects due to the need for frequent (monthly) administration of high concentrations of immunotherapeutic.

There is a pressing need to keep searching for new preventive vaccine to delay Alzheimer’s disease and slow down the progression of this devastating disease.

The new combined vaccination approach could potentially be used to induce strong immune responses to both of the hallmark pathologies of Alzheimer’s disease in a broad population base of vaccinated subjects with high MHC (major histocompatibility complex) class II gene polymorphisms, the study concluded.