Alzheimer’s Breakthrough: World’s First Dementia Vaccine!

Posted on Healthcare By Dr. Jutta Marquardt- PhD - Published on 2017-01-09

Dr. Jutta Marquardt - Neurologist at German Neuroscience Centre Dubai

It sounds too good to be true. Researchers developed a vaccine which does not only prevent but also reverses Alzheimer’s. This would be the absolute breakthrough in dementia researcher.

The study was published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports and is a cooperation of the Adelaide’s Flinders University, America’s Institute of Molecular Medicine and the University of California.

The researchers developed a vaccine which is actually an artificial antibody. For humans antibodies are essential to fight diseases. Antibodies are proteins attacking antigens presented on the surface of bacteria’s, viruses or similar. Thus our immune system is protecting us from diseases. The whole human immune system is way more complex but we kept it simple here since we want to focus on understanding how this new vaccine works.

Alzheimer’s dementia is caused by accumulating pathological proteins in the brain. Proteins which shouldn’t be in the brain can be found there and these proteins are destroying brain cells. The most common ones are called Beta and Tau. The more brain cells we lose the more cognitive functions we lose. In Alzheimer’s primarily memory followed by other symptoms.

Here comes the clue. The researchers developed antibodies targeting Beta and Tau, the two proteins causing Alzheimer’s. The antibodies clear the brain from these two pathological proteins and prevent new protein from accumulating there. Thus, Alzheimer’s could be prevented and early stages could be reversed. The key seems to be that these new antibodies are attacking both, Beta and Tau proteins at the same time.

What’s next? Since this was an experimental study on mice it will take some time till it can be tested on humans. However, the results are promising and the authors are confident that it will be tested on humans in the next two to three years.


About Author

Dr. Jutta Marquardt- PhD

Dr. Jutta Marquardt recieved her resident training at the Neurological University of Saarland and Würzburg in 1983, and then worked as the permanent assistant for the medical director of the Neurological Clinic at the Teaching Hospital Schweinfurt, Bavaria from 1996 to date. Dr. Marquradt has also worked with the US- Army's Tricare Insurance Systems, special training in pain acupuncture on neurological principles. She has 30 years of experience in ultrasound of the extra and intracranial brain feeding arteries, as well as, special training in neurological geriatric and intensive care

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