A New Vaccine Could Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is one of the most severe neurological conditions that can affect people and a primary cause of dementia. Current statistics infer that 1 in the 10 Americans above the age of 65 is affected by Alzheimer’s, and the numbers will continue to grow.

Many pharmaceutical companies are working on potential treatments that could help patients to keep the disease under control. An approach that has gained traction in recent years is the development of a vaccine that could be used to treat a certain disease, as it would be a proactive solution.

Exploring causes

Previous research has revealed that there are two major causes that contribute to the appearance and development of Alzheimer’s disease are the accumulation of plaques that contain beta-amyloid and knots of tau proteins that can affect the proper functioning of neurons.

Some researchers have theorized that a potential vaccine could hamper the accumulation of beta-amyloid within the neurons and stop the escalation of the disease from the early stages. A few vaccines have been developed, but the transition to versions that can work in the case of humans is a bit difficult.

New potential solution

A new study has explored an interesting solution by harnessing the immune system of the body to target and stop the production of beta-amyloid. Such implementations would be quite beneficial, especially since they avoid the over-stimulation of the immune system.

According to the researchers, the new vaccine relies on dendritic cells, which can interact with a large number of other immune cells, including B cells and T cells. During the study, the researchers developed an enhanced version of dendritic cells that come with a modified version of beta-amyloid, which allows immune cells to track down and target the real thing.

Tests on mice have been quite promising, but further research is required before a commercial version will be available.