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posted by cmn32480 on Friday July 15 2016, @06:56PM   Printer-friendly
from the make-it-happen-before-we-get-old dept.

Scientists have made progress on a cure for Alzheimer's:

Experts at Adelaide's Flinders University have made an Alzheimer's breakthrough that may result in world's first dementia vaccine. Developed by Australian and US scientists, this vaccine may not only prevent but also reverse early stages of Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia.

The Alzheimer's vaccine may be tested on humans within the next two to three years after being bankrolled by the US Government. Scientists from Flinders University and America's Institute of Molecular Medicine and University of California developed the vaccine by targeting proteins in the brain that block neurons.

The formula targets tau proteins and abnormal beta-amyloid that cause Alzheimer's. The scientists are confident that the vaccine would eventually be used as preventative vaccine. According to Flinders University medicine professor Nikolai Petrovsky, the proteins must be removed from the brain as Alzheimer's, and dementia sufferers have lots of these broken down proteins inside.

Alzheimer's disease AdvaxCpG- adjuvanted MultiTEP-based dual and single vaccines induce high-titer antibodies against various forms of tau and Aβ pathological molecules (open, DOI: 10.1038/srep28912)


Original Submission

Related Stories

Pfizer Halts Research Into Alzheimer's and Parkinson's; Axovant Sciences Abandons Intepirdine 11 comments

Pfizer has announced that it will halt efforts to find new treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Meanwhile, Axovant Sciences will halt its studies of intepirdine after it failed to show any improvement for dementia and Alzheimer's patients. The company's stock price has declined around 90% in 3 months:

Pfizer has announced plans to end its research efforts to discover new drugs for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The pharmaceutical giant explained its decision, which will entail roughly 300 layoffs, as a move to better position itself "to bring new therapies to patients who need them."

"As a result of a recent comprehensive review, we have made the decision to end our neuroscience discovery and early development efforts and re-allocate [spending] to those areas where we have strong scientific leadership and that will allow us to provide the greatest impact for patients," Pfizer said in a statement emailed to NPR.

[...] Despite heavily funding research efforts into potential treatments in the past, Pfizer has faced high-profile disappointment in recent years, as Reuters notes: "In 2012, Pfizer and partner Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) called off additional work on the drug bapineuzumab after it failed to help patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's in its second round of clinical trials."

Another potential treatment for neurodegenerative disorders — this one developed by Axovant, another pharmaceutical company — also found itself recently abandoned. The company dropped its experimental drug intepirdine after it failed to improve motor function in patients with a certain form of dementia — just three months after it also failed to show positive effects in Alzheimer's patients.

Looks like GlaxoSmithKline got a good deal when they sold the rights to intepirdine to Axovant Sciences in 2014.

Also at Bloomberg.

Related: Can we Turn Back the Clock on Alzheimer's?
Possible Cure for Alzheimer's to be Tested Within the Next Three Years
Mefenamic Acid Might Cure Alzheimers - Generic Cost in US is Crazy
New Alzheimer's Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function in Mice
Power Outage in the Brain may be Source of Alzheimer's
Another Failed Alzheimer's Disease Therapy
The FDA Saved Taxpayers from Paying Billions for Ineffective Alzheimer's Therapy
Alzheimer's Disease: A "Whole Body" Problem?
Bill Gates Commits $100 Million to Alzheimer's Research
Evidence That Alzheimer's Protein Spreads Like an Infection


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TheLink on Friday July 15 2016, @07:08PM

    by TheLink (332) on Friday July 15 2016, @07:08PM (#375041) Journal

    From summary:

    The formula targets tau proteins and abnormal beta-amyloid that cause Alzheimer's. The scientists are confident that the vaccine would eventually be used as preventative vaccine

    In contrast:
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/alzheimers-gene-affects-early-brain-development-study-suggests-1468440000 [wsj.com]

    Research on Alzheimer’s has largely focused on the characteristic proteins that build up in the brain in old age, but experimental drugs meant to target those symptoms have been disappointing. One relatively new theory is that the mind-robbing disease is actually a developmental disorder that begins much earlier in life.

    The team found that in some people with at least one copy of the so-called e4 variant—the version most associated with heightened Alzheimer’s risk—the size of the hippocampus was significantly smaller than in other young people in the study. The hippocampus is the seahorse-shaped brain region involved in memory formation.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 15 2016, @07:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 15 2016, @07:19PM (#375044)

      Spot on.

      1) Amyloids consist of aggregates of proteins folded into beta-sheets.
      2) These aggregates of beta-sheets are some of the most energetically favorable structures for proteins/peptides (chains of amino acids) to form.
      3) From #2 we can deduce that the formation of these amyloids is something expected to happen when any of a number of processes constantly working to prevent/remove them becomes defective.
      4) Therefore, mounting an immune response to amyloids will amounts to adding inflammatory activity to already malfunctioning tissue. There is no hope of helping repair that tissue or resolve the underlying issue (unless you call just killing the malfunctioning cells outright to be a solution). A vaccine towards amyloids makes no sense at all.

      For all we know amyloid-Beta is a symptom not a cause. It may even be protective. The idea they may randomly stumble upon a "cure" by flailing around like this is ridiculous.

  • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday July 15 2016, @07:53PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday July 15 2016, @07:53PM (#375056) Homepage

    A Lyft driver told me that, since Alzheimers is associated with memory, playing music from earlier times that the patient used to like can serve to be therapeutic though the retrieval of memories associated with listening to that music.

  • (Score: 2) by number6x on Friday July 15 2016, @08:04PM

    by number6x (903) on Friday July 15 2016, @08:04PM (#375063)

    Stupid Flinders

  • (Score: 2) by TrumpetPower! on Friday July 15 2016, @08:43PM

    by TrumpetPower! (590) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Friday July 15 2016, @08:43PM (#375085) Homepage

    The petty, childish, vindictive part of me would deny this vaccine, assuming it makes it through the regulatory process, to the anti-medicine cranks who've been responsible for so much tragically preventable childhood illness of late. It would be a fitting punishment...

    ...save I simply couldn't bring it upon myself to actually torture somebody, anybody, no matter how "deserving," so horrifically.

    So, rather, permit me to urge all those who still embrace superstition at the cost of the lives of children: examine all the reasons why you would presumably be eager to embrace this new vaccine for yourself and yet deny similar protection to innocent children.

    Yes, yes -- there'll be some minimal risk associated with the vaccine; there nearly always is. But you'll cheerfully accept that risk for yourself given the reward of not going crazy in your old age...and yet you would rather submit children to the substantial risk of deadly and crippling disease to spare them the insignificant-to-nonexistent risk of childhood vaccines. And you expect praise and admiration for your selfish cruelty.

    Cheers,

    b&

    --
    All but God can prove this sentence true.
  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Friday July 15 2016, @08:59PM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday July 15 2016, @08:59PM (#375102)

    They haven't even started human testing on this. All they have is a theory, some shiny new molecules, and some animals that survived.

    Wake me up when they're at least halfway through human trials.

    --
    When the dust settled America realized it was saved by a porn star.
  • (Score: 2) by Ken_g6 on Friday July 15 2016, @09:22PM

    by Ken_g6 (3706) on Friday July 15 2016, @09:22PM (#375113)

    Well, not the legged kind. The bacterial kind! [popsci.com]

    So, this might lead to improvement for Alzheimer's patients. Or it might lead to life-threatening brain infections.