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Nasal Alzheimer’s Vaccine To Start Human Trials

Brigham and Women’s Hospital will soon begin Phase I trials of a nasal vaccine designed to prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This is the first occasion when a nasal vaccine is being attempted for the disease, affecting more than six million people in the U.S. alone.

First seen in a patient way back in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer’s, the disease is a brain disorder characterized by clumps and tangled fibers between nerve cells in the brain. Symptoms of the disease, which are usually seen in adults in their 60s, vary from memory issues to vision loss and even impaired reasoning.

The cause of the disease has long been questioned, and researchers only recently believed it to have come to the root of it. Research for a cure has been ongoing for decades. However, most interventions are aimed at reducing the severity of the symptoms. The vaccine to be trialed aims to change this.Previous studies have shown that the immune cells in the body play a role in the removal of the amyloid plaques from the brain. Therefore, the researchers use an immune modulator called Protollin to stimulate the immune system and remove the plaques.

Protollin is an intranasal agent derived by mixing specific cell components of different bacteria and is already used as an adjuvant to generate a greater immune response for other vaccines. The researchers are hopeful that by triggering the immune system, specifically the white blood cells from the lymph node located in the neck area, the vaccine will clear out plaques in AD patients too.

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