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Is a nasal vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease imminent?




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Studies of mouse models point to potential nasal vaccines for Alzheimer’s disease. But does it prove to be feasible for humans? Image Credits: Dobrila Vignjevic / Getty Images.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of death.
  • Currently, there is no known treatment.
  • Scientists have developed an effective nasal vaccine to protect and treat mice with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Scientists are currently trying vaccines in a small group of people to see if the vaccine is safe.

A new phase 1 trial of a nasal vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease has begun. Scientists have successfully used the vaccine in a mouse model that simulates some of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

If new trials show that the vaccine is safe for humans, further research will test whether the vaccine is also effective.

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease Very common The type of dementia.

People with this disease usually develop symptoms after the age of 60. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a progressive loss of cognitive function and, in the most severe cases, may not be able to accommodate the surrounding world.

Estimated 5.8 million People in the United States will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease in 2020, which is the sixth leading cause of death in adults.

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and treatment is usually focused on helping people manage their symptoms.

Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston are currently in Phase I clinical trials to see if potential treatments are safe for humans.

Earlier, the team showed that nasal vaccines can prevent and treat the disease in a mouse model that simulates Alzheimer’s disease.These studies were published in Year 2005, 2008, When year 2012..

Dr. Howard L. Weiner“The start of the first human trial of a nasal vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease is a remarkable milestone,” said the hospital’s Research Leader and Co-Director of the Anromney Neurological Disease Center.

“Over the last two decades, we have accumulated preclinical evidence suggesting the potential of this nasal vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease. If clinical studies in humans show that the vaccine is safe and effective, this Can be a non-toxic treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease and can be given early to prevent Alzheimer’s disease in people at risk, “says Dr. Weiner.

Vaccines use adjuvants Protrin Stimulates the immune system. As part of other treatments, this has been shown to be safe for humans.

Scientists hope that the vaccine will activate white blood cells in the lymph nodes of the neck and encourage these immune cells to remove beta-amyloid plaques. scientist We believe that these amyloid plaques are the main cause of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Talk to Today’s medical news, Dr. Oscar Lopez“This is a new path for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases,” said the director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

“The mechanism of action (stimulation of the immune system) and the nasal administration of the compound make this treatment very attractive for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease,” he explained.

“Investigators will initiate Phase I trials, which are usually done to determine the appropriate dose and pharmacokinetics of the drug. If this is positive, they will be effective and safe for treatment. We will be able to proceed with Phase 2 and Phase 3 research to determine. “

Although the start of Phase 1 trials is an exciting development, there are still many hurdles to demonstrating that vaccines are a safe and effective treatment.

Talk to MNT, Professor Tara Spires Jones The individual chair of neurodegeneration at the University of Edinburgh and the deputy director of the Center for Discovery Brain Science explained that there is a large gap between mouse models and human participants. From mouse to human. The mouse is not the perfect model. “

In addition, she states: “Only 16 people participated in this trial, mainly focusing on safety. They have used a similar approach in humans before, so [we know] It is safe for some groups. “

“”[However, in the trial] They take people who are older and actually suffering from symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease and use small doses of this vaccine to make sure they are safe for people with Alzheimer’s disease. So it’s still in the very early stages. “

“If it’s safe for them, they go to another stage of the test, where they start to see if it works, so for now, test if this is available. I’m just doing it. “

Professor Spires-Jones added that there is good evidence behind this study.

“From a scientific basis, the idea that immune cells in the brain are involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease is strong. This particular approach is very common and covers nothing specific to Alzheimer’s disease. It is unclear whether this increase in the general population will effectively combat Alzheimer’s disease. “

“In fact, it’s possible [also] We know that immune system cells are involved in multiple ways at different stages of the disease, so we’re heading in the wrong direction, “she says.

“So my takeaway from now on is exciting that things are moving forward, but it’s a very early stage and I’m not sure if it’s safer and much less effective, so You should be careful.”

Professor Spires-Jones explained that timing and approach to targeting the immune response are important.

“Immune cells help the brain in part — they get rid of the condition, and in part they get some illnesses and harmful ones, secrete toxic ones, and It causes this inflammation, “she said.

“But what’s worrisome is that if you don’t specifically target your immune response in the course of your illness at the right time, or if you don’t do it the right way, it can exacerbate your brain condition. That is. “

“In this area, there was also a classic concern that removing this amyloid protein from the brain could cause some damage, especially if it was wrapped around degenerated blood vessels,” said Professor Spires. -Jones told us. “Don’t worry too much about it because you don’t think it worked because the reduction of amyloid is generally fairly safe.”

“But this isn’t a particularly low amyloid — it’s a total immune enhancement — and I’m not sure if anyone still knows if global enhancement is good, but it’s a mouse. Helped. “

Professor Spires-Jones suggested that new treatments are more likely to prevent Alzheimer’s disease than to treat symptoms.

“I think this is likely to be effective in preventing instead of treating, just because all the experiences attempted to treat people who already have a medical condition are poor at best. “She said.

“If this works, it’s great. If you can prevent Alzheimer’s disease, it’s the best result, and researchers suggest that this type of vaccine has been used in humans before. It’s a safe way in theory. “

“If it’s safe, there may be no risk, or if you can give it to everyone in their mid-60s who already has signs of amyloid positivity, it will be an absolute game changer. In my view, it’s likely to work, “said Professor Spire’s Jones.

Many cases of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease, can be prevented by lifestyle and behavioral changes, which Professor Spires Jones said is important to emphasize.

“The most important takeaway message from such studies is that lifestyle, changeable risk factors can prevent about 40% of all-cause dementia, which is currently about 60% of Alzheimer’s disease. It means that there is. “

The researchers explain: “These are the same things we just want to do to protect the heart and vascular system to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. These are exercise, a healthy diet, physical, mental and social activity. For example, to keep the condition. “

“It ’s very amazing. [risk factor] Deafness is associated with an increased risk of dementia. I’m not sure if it’s the cause or effect of the changes in the brain, but getting a hearing aid, wearing it, and continuing to stimulate it certainly doesn’t hurt. “

She added: “This does not mean that lifestyle and behavioral changes can help everyone. There are 60% of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. [cases] It is genetically pushed. So I don’t blame people with dementia. Some people were just out of luck. “

“But some of us [making key changes] Can be prevented [the disease] And it makes a big difference, so we can all take good care of ourselves. It protects not only our brain, but the rest of our body. “




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