So far, there is no progress in finding a treatment of Alzheimer’s. Almost all potential current treaments aim to dissolve amyloid plaques in the brain. The researchers of a recent study have chosen a dinstinct way of fighting the disease. They aimed at a different form of the amyloid-beta, its truncated form and developed both the antibody-based treatment and the protein-based vaccine to fight the disease with very exciting results.
First, the researchers identified an antibody in mouse models of Alzheimer’s that would neutralize the truncated form of soluble amyloid-beta, but would not bind either to normal forms of the protein or to the plaques. Next, they adapted the identified antibody so a human immune system wouldn’t recognize it as foreign and would accept it. The ‘humanized’ antibody turned to make the amyloid-beta protein fold back on itself, in a hairpin-shaped structure. To fix the hairpin shape and to bind to the antibody the researchers came up with a modified amyloid-beta protein that could potentially be used as a vaccine to trigger someone’s immune system to make antibodies against amyloid-beta plaques. The test of the potential vaccine in mice showed that mice started to produce antibodies against amyloid-beta.
The results of testing both ‘humanized antibody’ and the protein-based vaccine showed that both of them helped to restore neuron function, increase glucose metabolism in the brain, restore memory loss and even reduce amyloid beta plaque formation!
These results are very promising. If they could be replicated in people, they would not only help treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but also might prevent the development of the disease through a potential vaccination.
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