The drug, which will not be available to the public until late 2020, targets proteins produced by APP inside the brain that contributes to memory loss
Using nanoparticles to identify and target protein biomarkers that may promote Alzheimer’s disease, Boston University researchers are developing a possible preventative vaccine to treat the condition that affects about 5 million Americans.
The drug, which is still at the preclinical stage and will not be available to the public until late 2020, targets proteins produced by APP inside the brain that contributes to memory loss, the researchers told Science Magazine.
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After the vaccine, Alzheimer’s patients who were given the inflammatory drug AVEO-566, which blocks APP proteins inside the brain, found higher levels of AD, reported the research published in the journal Brain. Those given the MAPP inhibitor, however, did not show a rise in the condition.
“We believe it could be an inexpensive and realistic way to treat Alzheimer’s disease,” Dara Mukherjee, assistant professor of neurology at BU and senior author of the study, told Science Magazine.
“We think this is an exciting step to try to combine this approach with other approaches that are currently being tested for Alzheimer’s disease,” Mukherjee told the New York Times.
“Given that the brain is one of the most resistant organs to the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, we envision that there are synergistic effects of blocking APP with an immune-enhancing compound.”
The relationship between certain proteins and Alzheimer’s remains a mystery. Natural antiseptics help clear the abnormal proteins that may lead to Alzheimer’s, but many of the chemicals exist in such low quantities that they have caused negative side effects.
There are over 1,000 medicines used for treating Alzheimer’s, but only a few – a cocktail of medication – are specific to preventing the disease.
“Previous studies suggest that combining multiple kinds of therapies may be beneficial,” said Maurice Simons, director of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia University and co-author of the study.
“This study offers hope that a single therapeutic might be effective.”