Alzheimer's vaccine cures memory of mice

December 9, 2011
Associate Professor Lars Ittner: "Although we have a long way to go before the vaccine might be available for human use, these early results are very promising."

(Medical Xpress) -- A vaccine that slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia has been developed by researchers at the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI).

The vaccine, which targets a protein known as tau, prevents the ongoing formation of neurofibrillary tangles in the brain of a mouse with Alzheimer's disease.

This progressive neurodegenerative disease affects more than 35 million people worldwide. The is also involved in front temporal dementia, the second most common form of in people younger than 65 years.

The results of the study which led to the production of the vaccine have been published today in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.

Lead author on the study, Associate Professor Lars Ittner, from the Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease Laboratory says: "Our study is the first to show that a vaccine targeting the tau protein can be effective once the disease has already set in.

"The vaccine appears to have a preventative effect: slowing the development of further tangles, rather than clearing existing ones, but the exact mechanism involved is not yet understood," he said.

According to Associate Professor Ittner, scientists have been working on vaccines targeting the seen in Alzheimer's for many years with a few currently in clinical trials.

"Most of the other vaccines targeting tau were tested only before or around the onset of the disease in animal models, but the vast majority of people with Alzheimer's disease are only diagnosed after the symptoms have appeared.

"We are already collaborating with the US pharmaceutical industry to develop this new vaccine for humans.

"Although we have a long way to go before the might be available for human use, these early results are very promising and a great reward for the countless hours spent in the lab by me and my team!"

Explore further: Study reveals link between high cholesterol and Alzheimer's disease

Related Stories

Study reveals link between high cholesterol and Alzheimer's disease

September 12, 2011
People with high cholesterol may have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the September 13, 2011, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Recommended for you

Noninvasive eye scan could detect key signs of Alzheimer's years before patients show symptoms

August 17, 2017
Cedars-Sinai neuroscience investigators have found that Alzheimer's disease affects the retina—the back of the eye—similarly to the way it affects the brain. The study also revealed that an investigational, noninvasive ...

Could olfactory loss point to Alzheimer's disease?

August 16, 2017
By the time you start losing your memory, it's almost too late. That's because the damage to your brain associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) may already have been going on for as long as twenty years. Which is why there ...

New Machine Learning program shows promise for early Alzheimer's diagnosis

August 15, 2017
A new machine learning program developed by researchers at Case Western Reserve University appears to outperform other methods for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease before symptoms begin to interfere with every day living, initial ...

Brain scan study adds to evidence that lower brain serotonin levels are linked to dementia

August 14, 2017
In a study looking at brain scans of people with mild loss of thought and memory ability, Johns Hopkins researchers report evidence of lower levels of the serotonin transporter—a natural brain chemical that regulates mood, ...

Alzheimer's risk linked to energy shortage in brain's immune cells

August 14, 2017
People with specific mutations in the gene TREM2 are three times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those who carry more common variants of the gene. But until now, scientists had no explanation for the link.

Scientists reveal role for lysosome transport in Alzheimer's disease progression

August 7, 2017
Researchers from Yale University School of Medicine have discovered that defects in the transport of lysosomes within neurons promote the buildup of protein aggregates in the brains of mice with Alzheimer's disease. The study, ...

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.