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

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Research reveals atomic-level changes in ALS-linked protein

January 18, 2018
For the first time, researchers have described atom-by-atom changes in a family of proteins linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a group of brain disorders known as frontotemporal dementia and degenerative diseases ...

Fragile X finding shows normal neurons that interact poorly

January 18, 2018
Neurons in mice afflicted with the genetic defect that causes Fragile X syndrome (FXS) appear similar to those in healthy mice, but these neurons fail to interact normally, resulting in the long-known cognitive impairments, ...

How your brain remembers what you had for dinner last night

January 17, 2018
Confirming earlier computational models, researchers at University of California San Diego and UC San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Arizona and Louisiana, report that episodic memories are encoded in the hippocampus ...

Recording a thought's fleeting trip through the brain

January 17, 2018
University of California, Berkeley neuroscientists have tracked the progress of a thought through the brain, showing clearly how the prefrontal cortex at the front of the brain coordinates activity to help us act in response ...

Midbrain 'start neurons' control whether we walk or run

January 17, 2018
Locomotion comprises the most fundamental movements we perform. It is a complex sequence from initiating the first step, to stopping when we reach our goal. At the same time, locomotion is executed at different speeds to ...

Miles Davis is not Mozart: The brains of jazz and classical pianists work differently

January 16, 2018
Keith Jarret, world-famous jazz pianist, once answered in an interview when asked if he would ever be interested in doing a concert where he would play both jazz and classical music: "No, that's hilarious. [...] It's like ...

0 comments

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.