The vaccine has had positive results in mice, rabbits and monkeys. The researchers hope to start human testing soon.
SALT LAKE CITY – A recent study suggests that the devastating effects of dementia may not be a problem in the near future.
What is going on: Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have developed a vaccine that could protect the brain against Alzheimer's disease.
- "This study is the culmination of a decade of research that has repeatedly demonstrated that this vaccine can effectively and safely target animal models that we believe are likely to cause disease." Alzheimer's, "said Dr. Roger Rosenberg, founding director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center at the university, in a press release.
- According to USA Today, the vaccine, which prevents the accumulation of harmful proteins linked to the disease, has shown positive results in mice, rabbits and monkeys up to now.
- Newsweek reported that researchers hope to get it to human trials soon.
- If the vaccine proves safe and effective during human testing, it could halve the number of cases of dementia, the main author of the study told USA Today.
Alzheimer is a degenerative disease that destroys neurons and causes brain damage. According to the press release, approximately 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. This number could double to 11.4 million by 2050.
How it works: According to Forbes, the vaccine uses DNA from Alzheimer's proteins to teach the body's immune system to fight these compounds and prevent them from building up in the brain.
- Because researchers do not know when proteins will form, doctors will perform PET scans of the brain to determine when to administer the vaccine to patients, Forbes said.
- KSAT indicated that the vaccine was injected into the skin rather than into the muscle. An earlier experimental AD vaccine caused swelling of the brain after injection into patients' muscles.