DNA Vaccine Developed
For Alzheimer's Disease - Japanese Researchers Say Genetic Based Vaccine
Could Reverse Plaque Buildup in Brain
June 14th 2006
Japanese researchers say that they have promising new results with mice
studies that may benefit Alzheimer’s disease patients. They have been
able to cut levels of key amyloid proteins thought to cause the disease,
by up to 50% in some parts of the brain by using a DNA vaccine.
The over-production of amyloid proteins are thought to trigger symptoms
of Alzheimer's by forming clumps that litter the brain, according to the
BBC. Previous research has shown that it is possible to stimulate the
immune system of mice to attack these plaques, if they are immunized
with amyloid protein. But when this was done in humans the immune
response was so great that the brain began to swell. The clinical trial
for a vaccine had to be called off in 2003 after 18 of the 298 patients
developed swelling in their brains.
Now the researchers are trying to mobilize the immune system response in
a less aggressive manner. They hope this avoids brain swelling while
still destroying the plaque.