Alzheimer’s is a devastating, incurable disease that affects an estimated 5.4 million American adults. But, a new study from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia in partnership with a research team at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, and University of California, Irvine, reports that a vaccine could become available in as little as 5 years.
What we know about Alzheimer’s is that that two proteins in the brain, amyloid-beta (a-beta) and tau, play an important role; when they die they can build up into plaques and block connections between brain nerve cells (autopsies always show these plaques present in the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients). The vaccine would deal with the issue of protein buildup.
From the article:
“Essentially what we have designed is a vaccine that makes the immune system produce antibodies and those antibodies act like tow trucks so they come to your driveway, they latch on to the breakdown protein or car and they pull it out of the driveway,” said Flinders University medicine professor Nikolai Petrovsky, ABC News reported.
In animal studies, the antibodies work best to block a-beta before the subjects have developed the disease. Interestingly, the antibodies are effective at reversing the buildup of tau proteins once the disease has already progressed. At this moment, the vaccine is still not yet ready for human trials, but according to Petrovsky, “given the demand for a vaccine, if we show it is successful in the early stages we expect this will be pulled through and turned into product very, very quickly.”
I bet it will.
While we are still unsure how to prevent the disease, there are things you can do to help your cognitive health and environmental factors that you should be aware of to protect your brain:
- Turmeric shows great promise helping Alzheimer’s sufferers make remarkable recoveries.
- Specialists from Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Manchester Universities and Imperial College, have written a paper which suggests that bacteria and viruses, like herpes, could be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
- A new case study from Keele University in the UK unequivocally shows high levels of aluminum in the brain of an individual exposed to aluminum at work, who later died from Alzheimer’s disease.
- According to the featured article in the Los Angeles Times, researchers have linked DDT exposure to the development of Alzheimer’s disease later on in life.
There’s also promising research using coconut oil, research which shows that cannabinoids- found in marijuana- can remove plaque, and studies which say eating blueberries provides a real benefit in improving memory and cognitive function in some older adults, and may, therefore, help prevent neurocognitive decline.
Currently, researchers just want to make sure the vaccine is strong enough to be given to humans because they are fairly certain it works. Once that isn’t an issue they plan to give the vaccine as a preventative- around the age of 50.
I hate Alzheimer’s as much as the next guy, but why aren’t mainstream scientists studying how the plaque gets there and what we can do to stop its buildup, as opposed to just developing ANOTHER vaccine. Oh wait, never mind, I already know the answer to that.
Source: Good News Network