Scientists Develop a Vaccine for Dementia

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerFebruary 15, 2016

Scientists from the Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE) are in the beginning stages of a study that will test a vaccine that targets the brain tangles present in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Learn more about the vaccine and how researchers are hopeful it will break new ground in the fight against the epidemic.

New Study Tests Vaccine for Dementia Targeting Brain Tangles

A new study is evaluating the effectiveness of a potential vaccine to fight Alzheimer’s disease. The study will fight the tau protein and target tangles in the brain, which many researchers believe cause dementia.

The tangles in the brain are thought to prohibit the movement of nutrients throughout the brain. The vaccine will attempt to target and destroy the tau proteins found on the tangles. If these tangles can be destroyed, researchers are hopeful that the disease can be stopped. Currently, most studies seeking potential treatment methods focus on relieving symptoms of the disease or preventing the disease before it begins.

Researchers developing the vaccine hope that it will prevent the accumulation of the brain tangles that are a hallmark characteristic of the disease.

Paving the Way for a New Approach to Fighting the Disease

The study is being led by the Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE). Roy Jones, Director of RICE, is hopeful that this study will introduce a new approach towards Alzheimer’s. RICE is also experimenting with another vaccine that targets beta amyloid plaques, another hallmark characteristic of the disease. The study is in its very early stages and is seeking volunteers for a clinical trial in Bath, Liverpool and Finland.

Dr. James Pickett of the Alzheimer’s Society cautions that even if the vaccine is successful in stopping the progression of Alzheimer’s, it will take years to see its effects on the lives of people with Alzheimer’s. He encourages people to participate in trials, saying:

“With an aging population and no new dementia drugs in over a decade, the need to find new treatments is more urgent than ever. We need more people to come forward to get involved with scientific studies.”

What do you think about the possibility of this vaccine for dementia paving the way to fighting the disease? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Alissa Sauer

Alissa Sauer

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