Development of a safer vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease

Nov 17, 2010

A new vaccine protects against memory problems associated with Alzheimer's disease, but without potentially dangerous side effects, a new animal study reports. The research was presented at Neuroscience 2010, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Vaccines against amyloid-beta accumulation in the , one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, have long been considered a promising approach to developing a treatment. But finding a vaccine that is both safe and effective has been challenging. Previous research in mice showed that a vaccine that targets the human version of amyloid-beta reduces learning and memory loss associated with the disease. However, the vaccine caused dangerous autoimmune inflammation of the brain during human clinical trials.

In the current study, researchers at the University of California, Irvine tested a vaccine developed against a non-human protein that had the same shape as amyloid-beta, but a different sequence of amino acid building blocks. The Alzheimer’s mice that received the vaccine showed improved performance on memory and other cognitive tests. The vaccine also reduced the clumps of amyloid-beta and tau protein that may be toxic to brain cells.

“This finding is important because it shows that you don’t need a human protein to get an immune response that will neutralize the toxic amyloid oligomers associated with Alzheimer’s disease,” said senior author Charles Glabe, PhD. Because the was not human, Glabe and his colleagues believe it is unlikely to cause the dangerous autoimmune response.

“We’ve demonstrated a promising approach to developing a safe, active -- and one potentially cheaper and easier to distribute than the manufactured vaccines currently in human trials,” Glabe said.

Research was supported by Cure Alzheimer's Fund and the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation.

Explore further: New research supporting stroke rehabilitation

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers create experimental vaccine against Alzheimer's

Oct 08, 2010

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have created an experimental vaccine against beta-amyloid, the small protein that forms plaques in the brain and is believed to contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Vaccine triggers immune response, prevents Alzheimer's

May 19, 2008

A vaccine created by University of Rochester Medical Center scientists prevents the development of Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology in mice without causing inflammation or significant side effects.

Paving the way toward a vaccine against Alzheimer's disease

Jun 21, 2007

Scientists have provided new details about how proteins used to destroy bacteria and viruses may help treat Alzheimer’s disease. Gunnar K. Gouras, associate professor of neurology and neuroscience at Weill Medical College ...

New Alzheimer vaccine to be tested in Europe

Apr 23, 2010

A new vaccine against Alzheimer's, developed by the Austrian biotechnology firm Affiris, will soon be tested in six European countries, the company announced Friday.

Recommended for you

New research supporting stroke rehabilitation

11 hours ago

Using world-leading research methods, the team of Dr David Wright and Prof Paul Holmes, working with Dr Jacqueline Williams from the Victoria University in Melbourne, studied activity in an area of the brain ...

Team finds an off switch for pain

16 hours ago

In research published in the medical journal Brain, Saint Louis University researcher Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D. and colleagues within SLU, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other academic institutions have d ...

Brain researchers pinpoint gateway to human memory

18 hours ago

An international team led by researchers of the University of Magdeburg and the DZNE has successfully determined the location, where memories are generated with a level of precision never achieved before. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.