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
|Contact: Adam Cohen|
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation