The first human clinical trials of a nasal vaccine to prevent Alzheimer’s disease begin at Boston Hospital
- New Alzheimer’s vaccine is moving to Phase I clinical trials at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston
- The vaccine is a two-dose nasal spray that uses Protollin, a chemical that can stimulate the immune system and activate white blood cells.
- Researchers hope that this activation will remove plaque that represses neurons from the brain, causing the condition
- Alzheimer’s is believed to affect more than six million Americans and is expected to cause 100,000 deaths in the United States each year
A vaccine that could prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is about to begin its first clinical trials in humans.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, announced Tuesday that it will begin a Phase I trial of a nasal spray that could prevent a devastating condition.
The vaccine uses Protollin, a chemical that stimulates the human immune system and activates white blood cells, which can remove plaques from the brain that cause Alzheimer’s disease.
The vaccine is the result of 20 years of research by Dr. Howard Weiner, director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases at the hospital.
It would be a breakthrough for a disease that currently has limited treatments available and not medications that are believed to be able to reverse the cognitive impairment it causes.
The first clinical trials of a possible Alzheimer’s vaccine in humans begin. The vaccine is a two-dose nasal spray that uses a chemical called Protollin to activate white blood cells that can remove plaque from the brain (file image)
Clinical trials are conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (pictured) in Boston, Massachusetts. The vaccine is the result of a 20-year study in a hospital
“The launch of the first human trial of a nasal vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease is a significant milestone,” Weiner said in a statement.
“Over the past two decades, we have gathered preclinical evidence suggesting the potential of this nasal vaccine [Alzheimer’s disorder].
“If human clinical trials show that the vaccine is safe and effective, this may be a non-toxic treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease and could also be given at an early stage to prevent Alzheimer’s disease in at-risk groups.”
HOW TO FIND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory, thinking, and the ability to perform simple tasks.
It is the cause in 60–70% of cases of dementia.
The majority of people with Alzheimer’s disease are 65 years of age or older
More than six million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease.
It is not known what causes Alzheimer’s. Those with the APOE gene are more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty remembering the information you just learned
- Changes in mood and behavior
- Doubts about family, friends and caregivers
- More severe memory loss
- Difficulty talking, swallowing and walking
Stages of Alzheimer’s disease:
- Mild Alzheimer’s disease (early stage) – A person may be able to act independently but has memory problems
- Moderate Alzheimer’s disease (moderate) – Typically, the longest stage at which a person may be confused, frustrated, or angry, or may experience sudden changes in behavior.
- Severe Alzheimer’s disease (late stage) – In the final stage, individuals lose the ability to react to their environment, continue the conversation and eventually control their movements
The vaccine is a two-dose dose given every week.
Since Tuesday, 16 participants aged 60-85 have registered for the test.
Everyone has had early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, but otherwise they are in good shape.
In the first test, it is hoped to find out if the vaccine is safe or not, and what dose doctors should use for it.
The researchers hope that the vaccine Protollin may activate white blood cells in human lymph nodes.
In this case, white blood cells are activated to remove beta-amyloid plaques from the brain.
Plaques, which occur in people with Alzheimer’s disease, are thought to be the cause of the development of dementia associated with the disease.
“We are thrilled to see Protollin’s approval to move on to clinical trials after many years of pioneering work, and we are honored to contribute our expertise to global efforts to develop new treatments for this devastating disease,” said Dr. Jingwu Zang, Founder and President. I-Mab, a Maryland-based biopharmaceutical company that developed Protollin, said in a statement.
Weiner hopes this type of immune system trigger is a long-sought key to fighting Alzheimer’s disease.
“The immune system plays a very important role in all neurological diseases,” he said.
“And it’s exciting that after 20 years of preclinical work, we can finally take an important step forward in clinical translation and complete this significant first human experiment.”
Alzheimer’s disease currently affects about six million Americans and kills more than 100,000 people in the United States each year.
Dementia is the most well – known and devastating symptom of the disease – and Alzheimer ‘s disease is estimated to be responsible for more than 60 percent of dementia cases in the United States.
It often affects people aged 65 and over, and people whose older family member has contracted the disease are at greater risk of getting sick.
There is only one drug on the market that is believed to be able to reverse the cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Aduhelm, although many experts doubt the drug’s ability to treat the disease, and its approval by regulators in the summer was controversial.