New Alzheimer's vaccine could cut number of cases in half

A new Alzheimer's vaccine is showing promise in early trials.

A new study published in Alzheimer's Research and Therapy says an experimental DNA vaccine was able to reduce two types of toxic proteins in the brains of mice, which are believed to be a cause of Alzheimer's.

According to Dr. Doris Lambracht-Washington, of the University of Texas Southwestern's Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute, "If the onset of the disease could be delayed even five years, that would be enormous for the patients and their families. The number of dementia cases could drop by half."

Earlier vaccines showed promise fighting the disease but caused "severe brain swelling" in patients. The new vaccine does not.

The new vaccine is delivered through the skin and activates an immune response in the body, reducing the build up of harmful tau and beta-amyloids.

“This study is the culmination of a decade of research that has repeatedly demonstrated that this vaccine can effectively and safely target in animal models what we think may cause Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Roger Rosenberg, founding Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at UT Southwestern. “I believe we’re getting close to testing this therapy in people.”

Currently, there is no effective treatment for Alzheimer's.

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