Vaccine slows progression of skeletal muscle disorder

May 13, 2009

A potential vaccine for Alzheimer's disease also has been shown in mice to slow the weakening of muscles associated with inclusion body myositis, a disorder that affects the elderly.

The finding brings new hope for IBM patients with weakness, inflammation or of muscles in their fingers, wrists, forearms or quadriceps. There is no cure for IBM, nor is there an effective treatment, according to the National Institutes of Health.

"The immunization wasn't a complete fix, but it significantly slowed the deterioration of motor function in our IBM mice," said Frank LaFerla, director of UC Irvine's Institute for and . "I hope our discovery leads to clinical trials and, eventually, a vaccine for people suffering from or at risk for IBM."

Study results appear Wednesday, May 13, in The Journal of Neuroscience.

LaFerla and assistant project scientist Masashi Kitazawa tested the vaccine on 1-year-old mice with high levels of a protein called in their skeletal muscle tissue - a characteristic feature of IBM.

After three months of treatment, the mice were producing antibodies against beta amyloid and had less of the protein in their muscles. Levels of oligomeric beta amyloid - a more toxic form - also were reduced.

"It appears the antibodies helped remove beta amyloid or blocked its accumulation in so they could stay healthy longer," Kitazawa said.

Immunotherapy approaches such as vaccination are being extensively studied for Alzheimer's in humans. In that disease, beta amyloid accumulates in the brain and leads to the creation of senile plaques, one of two signature Alzheimer's lesions. Although immunotherapy has shown some benefit in human clinical trials, there are significant safety concerns. For example, about 6 percent of people develop encephalitis, or .

LaFerla thinks it's unlikely IBM patients would develop encephalitis: "With IBM, brain integrity is not compromised like it is with Alzheimer's. We should be cautious, but there's little reason to assume IBM patients would have the same problem."

Source: University of California - Irvine

Explore further: Lost memories might be able to be restored, new study indicates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Can tomatoes carry the cure for Alzheimer's?

Jul 08, 2008

The humble tomato could be a suitable carrier for an oral vaccine against Alzheimer's disease, according to HyunSoon Kim from the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB) in Korea and colleagues from ...

Anti-inflammatory drug blocks brain plaques

Jun 24, 2008

Brain destruction in Alzheimer's disease is caused by the build-up of a protein called amyloid beta in the brain, which triggers damaging inflammation and the destruction of nerve cells. Scientists had previously shown that ...

Potatoes may hold key to Alzheimer's treatment

Aug 15, 2008

A virus that commonly infects potatoes bears a striking resemblance to one of the key proteins implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD), and researchers have used that to develop antibodies that may slow or prevent the onset ...

Vitamin B3 reduces Alzheimer's symptoms, lesions

Nov 04, 2008

An over-the-counter vitamin in high doses prevented memory loss in mice with Alzheimer's disease, and UC Irvine scientists now are conducting a clinical trial to determine its effect in humans.

Recommended for you

Researchers unlock mystery of skin's sensory abilities

Dec 19, 2014

Humans' ability to detect the direction of movement of stimuli in their sensory world is critical to survival. Much of this stimuli detection comes from sight and sound, but little is known about how the ...

Tackling neurotransmission precision

Dec 18, 2014

Behind all motor, sensory and memory functions, calcium ions are in the brain, making those functions possible. Yet neuroscientists do not entirely understand how fast calcium ions reach their targets inside ...

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.