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A Potential Vaccine in Alzheimer’s Therapy

When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the focal point of treatment is to first slow down disease progression. Ultimately, the person afflicted with Alzheimer’s and the family make a wish: “What if we could reverse the neurological degeneration and return to greater normalcy?” Perhaps, we are inching closer to a vaccine which could address both. And we all know that inch by inch the achievement becomes a synch!

Fresh from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences as of Jan 2013, an interestingly optimistic development of a potential new treatment for Alzheimer's disease as well as a vaccine to prevent the illness is being tested in mice. Dr. Serge Rivest, professor at Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine and researcher at the CHU de Québec has found a molecule which stimulates the brain's immune cells. The molecule, known as (monophosphoryl lipid A) has been used as a vaccine adjuvant by GlaxoSmithKline for many years.

The vaccine is able to remove deposits of plaques in the brain emanating from amyloid beta. In mice bred for Alzheimer's symptoms, weekly injections of MPL over a twelve-week period eliminated up to 80% of senile plaques. There was also significant success in the mice’s abilities to learn new tasks! Clearly cognitive decline was not only halted, but even reversed.

Dr. Rivest had this to say when asked about his latest research: “Although the safety of the MPL treatment regimen used here has not been confirmed in humans, this compound has been administered to hundreds of thousands of humans as an adjuvant in different vaccines and is currently used as a component of a marketed human vaccine (Cervarix).”

What does all this mean to you? While the research is encouraging and resonates with common sense: To stimulate our natural immune system to clear out the toxin of the amyloid beta molecule, it is a big leap from mice to people. Consider dosage, tolerance, long range effectiveness and side effects. At the very least the vaccine appears safe, as it has been already administered in conjunction with different vaccines in humans, so it has some history.

Let’s keep an eye on this intramuscular injection. For years global researchers have been searching for the Holy Grail in vaccinations – Always easier to administer as a preventative in those at high risk for Alzheimer’s.
For more information on caregiving read my book, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show




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