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Vaccination for dementia being tested

could help her

People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may benefit from vaccine therapies currently being tested in clinical trials. Researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) presented their research at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

They discovered that mice with large amounts of amyloid protein (the type of protein which increases in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients) had a negative reaction to vaccinations currently being tested. They experienced significant brain swelling. The mice with less amyloid proteins did not have this side effect and showed a maximum benefit from the vaccination.

Patients with the brain swelling in the trial often did not notice it. They had no symptoms and no discomfort. “Excessive inflammation, however, is counter-productive because it will limit the benefits of the vaccine treatment, and in a few cases, will cause new problems,” said R. Scott Turner, MD, PhD, director of the Georgetown University Memory Disorders Program and lead investigator.

The study is important for revealing the impact of the test vaccine on high amyloid proteins in the brain. Because of this finding, they can tell who will benefit the most from this particular vaccination: it will be people in early stages of the disease. They believe that the vaccines now being tested in patients with Alzheimer’s may work better in patients with mild cognitive impairment – a precursor to Alzheimer’s.

“We may find that in the future, we will have to tailor immunization therapies based on amyloid burden in individual patients,” Turner says.

Source: GUMC, MedicalNewsToday

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