A team of scientists at University of New Mexico (UNM) have been developing a vaccine that could possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
The vaccine has been tested on a variety of mice that had similar symptoms of Alzheimer’s found in humans and discovered that once given the vaccine, the mice developed antibodies that combatted tau in the brain, which is a protein in our bodies that block neurons from communicating with each other. “We’re excited by these findings, because they seem to suggest that we can use the body’s own immune system to make antibodies against these [tau] tangles,” says Nicole Maphis, a Ph.D. one of the scientists working on the vaccine.
The mice were given a series of maze-like tests and MRI’s. The mice that were given the vaccine completed the maze-like tests significantly better than the mice who did not receive the vaccine. The MRI’s of the vaccinated mice also showed that there were less tau tangles in parts of the brain that are crucial for memory and learning, which are effected by Alzheimer’s.
The UNM science team hopes that these results will open up doors for human trials in the future.
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