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Australian News Article Claims: “Dementia vaccine may be just years away”
An article published in ABC News Australia claims that a vaccine for Dementia and Alzheimers “may be just years away.”
The article says that a doctor at Flinders University in Australia has developed a dementia/Alzheimers vaccine that targets the breakdown of one of the two proteins (a-beta) that cause plaque build up in the brain (which is what causes dementia and Alzheimer’s). According to Dr. Nikolai Petrovsky, the vaccine is effective in animals, and they are currently/about to begin clinical trials on humans.
The vaccine works by triggering the body to create antibodies to help prevent the break down of a-beta proteins in the brain. This helps before Dementia or Alzheimer’s has been diagnosed. A vaccine that targets the breakdown of tau proteins seems to be able to reverse some of the effects of Alzheimer’s in patients that already have been diagnosed. This vaccine is still being developed, and the US government funding that the program has received will helpfully help this vaccine become a reality int he near future.
Flinders University and the University of California have a partnership and both American doctors and Australian doctors are working together to develop the vaccine.
Personally, I find this rather encouraging. My mother has early onset Alzheimer’s disease, so this little glimmer of hope is what we have been looking forward to in my family. All I can do is be thankful for the talented doctors who have been working so hard on this and be impressed with how amazing the human body and studying medicine really is.