Scientists in Sweden have published research which suggests, for the first time, that it may be possible to delay the onset of full blown dementia in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The vaccine, known as CAD106, was developed by scientists at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, and is a potential breakthrough in treating the disease that affects over 800,000 people in the United Kingdom.
The CAD106 vaccine is designed to boost the body’s immune defence against the build up of beta-amyloid, a protein that builds up as plaque in dementia patients. The study is the second clinical trial of the vaccine, which was modified after the first trial produced too many side effects. The three years of research on the new vaccine showed that 80 per cent of patients in the trial developed antibodies to protect against amyloid plaque build up, without the side effects present in the earlier studies.
These results were published in highly respected scientific journal Lancet Neurology, and the study’s authors claimed the vaccine could represent a ‘promising option in the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease’. The research team will now oversee a much larger trial to confirm the efficacy of CAD106.
Vaccines that increase the degree of immunity to dementia could represent a breakthrough in fighting the disease. Professor Thomas Wisniewski, the Director of Aging and Dementia at the New York University Medical Center stated in the same issue of Lancet Neurology that ‘development of an immunotherapy that can delay Alzheimer’s disease onset by five years would reduce the prevalence of the disease by half’.