World Health Organization says dementia is the fastest growing global health epidemic of our age. Alzheimer’s with no cure and medicines that aren’t much effective is quite high on the list. The first study for human vaccination against the disease revealed too many side effects and had to be discontinued. However, there is new hope this time as a new vaccine, the CAD106 is proving itself to be effective against the disease.
The treatment makes use of active immunisation, using the vaccine to trigger antibodies that trigger the body’s defenses against beta-amyloid, the substance that accumulates as plaque and kills brain cells. Nearly 80 percent of the patients in the trial developed their own antibodies against beta-amyloid, without having any side effects during the three years of the study. CAD106 vaccine must now go into larger trials to effectively prove its efficacy.
The study was carried out by Professor Bengt Winblad at Karolinska Institutet’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre in Huddinge and leading neurologists in the Swedish Brain Power network: consultant Niels Andreasen from Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge; Professor Lennart Minthon from the MAS University Hospital, Malmö; and Professor Kaj Blennow from the Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg. The study was financed by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis.