Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most dreaded diseases known to man. Unlike many other diseases, Alzheimer’s is being diagnosed in increasing numbers and the outlook for any patient is pretty bleak. There is good news being reported out of Sweden where researchers from Karolinska Institute have seen encouraging results of an experimental vaccine. The results are so encouraging, it is now being considered for testing on a larger scale.
The study was led by Bengt Winblad, Professor of Geriatrics at Karolinska Institute. The new vaccine is called CAD106 and is designed to turn on the body’s natural defenses against beta-amyloid, which is what contributes to plaque build up in the brain. The study was conducted over a three year period and had very good results. 80 percent of the patients involved in the study developed their own antibodies against beta-amyloid. Even more encouraging, was the fact that there were no serious side affects from the vaccine. The previous clinical studies done 10 years ago were not so lucky. The researchers believe that this is a “tolerable” treatment for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. Now they will need to conduct studies on a larger scale to confirm their findings. The study was published in the journal Lancet Neurology.
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that affects memory and behavior. It is the most common form of dementia. Below, is a link to a brief video with some statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association. In about a minute, it can show the staggering reality that is Alzheimer’s better than I can explain.
I have personally seen the effects of dementia on one of my grandparents. It is such a humiliating and painful thing to watch. I hope that this study will encourage more research and eventually come up with better treatment or even better, a cure. If you or a loved one are affected by Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association has a lot of resources on their website which can be found at the following link: http://www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_4521.asp.