As modern medicine continues to improve and advance at an increasingly rapid rate, people all over the world are enjoying longer lifespans, on average, than ever before. Consequently, age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are becoming common diagnoses in older adults. For example, in the United States alone Alzheimer’s is estimated to affect 5.7 million people. Now, it appears help may soon be on the way in the form of a potential new vaccine that has shown success in mice testing.
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine believe that this immunotherapy combination vaccine should be ready for human trials within the next few years. The initial version of the vaccine was created by Flinders University professor Nikolai Petrovsky in South Australia, and it works by removing “brain plaque” and tau protein aggregates, both of which have been extensively linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Success in 2019 with mice models has opened the door towards more extensive research and development in 2020, researchers say.
If the vaccine can in fact remove accumulated beta-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and tau protein aggregates from human subjects brains, just as it was able to in mice that had already shown signs of Aβ and tau pathologies, that should, in theory, stop the development of Alzheimer’s disease.