Navigation Links
An Alzheimer's vaccine?
Date:11/12/2007

Could a new vaccine be the key to stopping Alzheimers disease" A new research study from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) shows that immunization could offer a way to blunt or even prevent the deadly, memory-robbing disease.

OMRF scientists immunized Alzheimers mice with a protein believed to play a key role in the disease-causing process. The mice who received the vaccination showed a significant reduction in the build-up of protein plaques that, when present in the brain for long periods of time, are believed to cause the cell death, memory loss and neurological dysfunction characteristic of Alzheimers.

The immunized mice also showed better cognitive performance than control mice had not received the vaccine.

These results are extremely exciting, said Jordan Tang, Ph.D., the OMRF researcher who led the study. They certainly show that this vaccination approach warrants additional investigation as a therapy for Alzheimers disease.

The new research appears in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Tang and his colleagues at OMRF previously had identified the cutting enzyme (known as memapsin 2) that creates the protein fragments believed to be the culprit behind Alzheimers. In the current study, researchers used mice that had been genetically engineered to develop symptoms of Alzheimers, then immunized the animals with memapsin 2.

What we saw is that the mice immunized with memapsin 2 developed 35 percent fewer plaques than their non-vaccinated counterparts, said Tang. Those immunized mice also performed better than control mice in tests designed to assess their cognitive function.

Tangs work with memapsin 2 also has led to the creation of an experimental drug to treat Alzheimers disease. That drug, which works by inhibiting the cutting enzyme, began human clinical trials in the summer of 2007.

Tang emphasized that the vaccine approach should be viewed as a supplement torather than substitute forthe experimental inhibitor and other treatments currently in development for the illness.

Alzheimers is a complicated, multi-faceted disease, said the OMRF researcher. As with illnesses like cancer and heart disease, Alzheimers demands that we develop many different approaches to combat it. We cannot rely on a one-size-fits-all strategy, because what works in one patient will not necessarily have in another.

A vaccination approachgetting the immune system to clean up the plaqueshas been considered a promising way to tackle the disease, but its success has been limited. In 2002, for example, the pharmaceutical company Elan halted trials of a different vaccine after 15 patients suffered swelling of the central nervous system.

OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D., is hopeful that Tangs work will avoid the pitfalls that beset Elans vaccine. This vaccination stimulates the immune system more gently than previous Alzheimers vaccines, so we are optimistic about its prospects going forward, he said. Once again, Dr. Tang has found an innovative way to make inroads against a devastating and poorly understood disease.

The next step, said Tang, will be to progress the work to the point that it can be tested in humans. There currently is no effective treatment for Alzheimers disease, so we must explore every possible option to find a way to stop it, he said.

The research was supported, in part, by a grant from the Alzheimers Association.

The Alzheimers Association is pleased to provide funding for innovative work such as this to develop possible new therapies for Alzheimer's, said William Thies, Ph.D., vice president for Medical & Scientific Relations at the Alzheimers Association. It is important to encourage imaginative researchers to test unconventional strategies, as Dr. Tang has done here. We face an overwhelming epidemic of Alzheimer's and dementia if we don't change the current unsatisfactory situation by greatly improving early detection, treatment and prevention.


'/>"/>

Contact: Adam Cohen
adam-cohen@omrf.org
405-271-7159
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Paradigm shift in Alzheimerss research: new treatments
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/24/2017)... Janice Kephart , former 9/11 ... Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the following ... March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting the ... be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the reactivation ... applications are suspended by until at least July ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 According to a new market research report ... Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region ... expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... LONDON , April 6, 2017 ... Control, RFID, ANPR, Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & ... Energy Facility, Oil, Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear ... Healthcare, Educational, Other) Are you looking for ... Authentication sector? ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... For the second time in three ... Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, October ... US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America by ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee is pleased to ... who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. Each award ... conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held February 26-March 1, ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which ... video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... , ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... a lunch discussion and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for ... Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event is free and open to the public, but ...
Breaking Biology Technology: