Researchers hope to test Alzheimer’s vaccine in humans soon
| FORBES – Researchers at the University of Texas (UT) reported that they have developed a vaccine that could arm the body to attack Alzheimer’s plaques and tangles before they even start to shut down the brain.
Their new vaccine for the first time has targeted both amyloid-containing plaques and tau — hallmarks for a definitive identification of Alzheimer’s disease — in a mouse with the disease.
The new vaccine—unlike a previous attempt that caused swelling in the brain when DNA was injected into the test mice’s muscles—is administered by injecting it superficially into the skin.
The injected skin cells then make a three-molecule chain of beta-amyloid, and the body responds by producing antibodies that ward off the build-up of amyloid and tau. READ MORE.
- Casey Kasem’s Death: Was It Alzheimer’s, Or Elder Abuse?
- Neck Sign Shows Alzheimer’s Ten Years In Advance
- This Test Can Predict Who Gets Alzheimer’s
HIV drugs may help Alzheimer’s
The San Diego Union-Tribune, Nov 21, 2018 — A major new study on Alzheimer’s disease provides previously unknown evidence of how the brain-robbing illness may originate.
Moreover, it proposes that certain HIV drugs called reverse transcriptase inhibitors could immediately be repurposed for Alzheimer’s patients.
Led by scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego, the study finds that, as long suspected, Alzheimer’s is a genetic disease.
But in nearly all cases, it’s not inherited. Rather, it arises during a patient’s lifetime by genetic rearrangements in neurons. Sequences of DNA are copied, altered and inserted back into the genome.
The genetic rearranging isn’t random mutation, but a process that recombines DNA into different patterns.
This reshuffling creates a mosaic of slightly differing cells. The immune system uses a similar process to make antibodies, but nothing like it has been seen in the human brain.
Reverse transcriptase inhibitors might also ward off Alzheimer’s in those with Down syndrome, who develop Alzheimer’s as they age, the study said.
The study was published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Confirmation of the findings is required, said Dr. Jerold Chun, the lead author. But Chun says testing with the HIV drugs should begin immediately. Even a low degree of effectiveness would be better than what is now available.
The study combines single and multiple-cell analytical methods to examine 13 donated human brains, some normal, some with Alzheimer’s. Its findings jibe with epidemiological data from elderly HIV patients.
They have been treated with reverse transcriptase inhibitors for decades, and almost never get Alzheimer’s.
The first documented case of Alzheimer’s in an HIV-positive individual was reported in 2016.
Cautious praise for the study came from Dr. Paul Aisen, a longtime Alzheimer’s researcher who specializes in clinical trials. Aisen heads the University of Southern California Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute in San Diego. READ MORE.