Navigation Links
Award-winning research points toward Alzheimer’s vaccine
Date:9/26/2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. An accomplice to the protein that causes plaque buildup in Alzheimer's disease is the focus of a potential new treatment, according to research by a Georgia Health Sciences University graduate student.

In Alzheimer's, the amyloid protein can accumulate in the brain instead of being eliminated by the body's natural defenses, nestling between the neurons and forming impassable plaques.

Amyloid and the way it gets there could be targets for a new vaccine.

"RAGE, or receptor for advanced glycation endproducts, proteins bind to amyloid and transport it into the brain," said Scott Webster, a fifth-year graduate student who is studying the disease in the lab of Dr. Alvin Terry, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Research has shown that RAGE may also contribute to the inflammation and damage that amyloid causes to the brain's nerve cells.

Webster is researching a vaccine that targets RAGE and amyloid by using the body's own immune system to protect against their over-production and eventual build-up. His work has earned him the 2011 Darrell W. Brann Scholarship in Neuroscience, a $1,000 award honoring an outstanding graduate student on campus working in neuroscience.

"Unfortunately, all of the vaccines for Alzheimer's that have been through clinical trials have failed," he said. "Part of the reason why could be that they're just not comprehensive enough. Most only target amyloid. Our hope is that by taking a more encompassing approach, we will be more effective. So far, that's exactly what we're seeing in our experiments."

Other vaccines also have multiple side effects, including swelling of the brain. Webster hopes that targeting the RAGE protein and changing how the vaccine is administered will minimize inflammatory side effects.

Another benefit is that the vaccine can be administered orally, since it does not require an adjuvant, which is added to vaccines to enhance the immune response. The digestive tract is one of the body's largest repositories of human flora, microorganisms that are key to the immune system.

"That's a relatively new idea," Webster said. "By using the immune system that's endogenous to our gut, we can skew the body's response away from the inflammatory and toward a more robust antibody response, bypassing some of the side effects."

Early results have shown improved cognition and memory in animal models of Alzheimer's, something Webster considers a sort of personal crusade.

"I have watched a close family friend suffer from the disease and saw how devastating it was," he said. "The family is caring for this person and yet the person doesn't even remember who his own family is. It's a heartbreaking process to watch."

Even with promising results, he cautioned of unknowns about the potential vaccine.

"We need to move on to larger animal studies. We have a lot we still don't know about the vaccine itself. For example, we know that amyloid and RAGE bind together, but we don't know why the binding creates such a stable complex. We have these end points, but we still don't know some of the basic science that needs to be known so that we can push ahead."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Scott
jscott1@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-8604
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. GM food solutions at risk from lobbyists, research suggests
2. TGen breast cancer research benefits from $3.5 million Komen award
3. GCEP awards $3.5 million for energy research
4. UCLA researchers develop system that finds prostate cancer spread earlier than conventional imaging
5. MSU engages public on using newborn blood spots for research
6. Research into molluscan phylogeny reveals deep animal relationship of snails and mussels
7. UTHealth student earns fellowships to research major source of bacterial infections
8. Joslin researchers identify pathways leading to activation of good fat
9. ONR officials meet with Navy Surgeon General to coordinate medical research
10. UMass researcher points to suppression of evidence on radiation effects by 1946 Nobel Laureate
11. 2 Scripps Research scientists win prestigious NIH Innovator Awards
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Award-winning research points toward Alzheimer’s vaccine
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during the ... on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The ... coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... Md. , June 22, 2016  The American College ... Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of the ... on May 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las ... on the highest percentage of growth in each of the ... of exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   Acuant ... and verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ... solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and ... products that add functional enhancements to existing ... corporations and venues with an automated ID ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a leading national childhood cancer ... bioinformatics lab, using ,big data, to advance the pace ... Liz Scott , co-executive director of ALSF and Alex,s ... Washington, D.C. , hosted by Vice President ... pediatric cancer research and awareness. The ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Global demand for enzymes is forecast ... to $7.2 billion.  This market includes enzymes used ... biofuel production, animal feed, and other markets) and ... Food and beverages will remain the largest market ... of products containing enzymes in developing regions.  These ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ... advised by its major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, ... United States based venture capital funds which ... Biorem (on a fully diluted, as converted basis), that ... of their entire equity holdings in Biorem to TUS ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... to enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative ... of the United States denied ... that the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 ... eligibility criteria established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative ...
Breaking Biology Technology: