Life

Mother-daughter team may have vaccine for Alzheimer's

September 11th, 2019

Alzheimer’s is one of the worst possible diseases anyone can ever have to deal with. It’s life-destroying, both for the sufferer and for the people around them, as the patient literally begins to forget who they are, losing their identity, their personality, and their memories. Statistics show that Alzheimer’s is the 6th biggest killer in the United States alone, with close to 6 million Americans currently suffering from the disease and millions more worldwide.

Many attempts have been made to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, but they’ve all been unsuccessful so far. However, recent developments may finally be paving the way towards a genuine cure that could save countless lives and prevent so much pain, anguish, and loss.

One of the big issues scientists and researchers have encountered when attempting to develop a cure for Alzheimer’s is that it does so much damage to the brain tissue and that damage is almost impossible to undo. Therefore, instead of trying to undo the damage, scientists are starting to focus on detecting the onset of the disease as early as possible and preventing it from spreading.

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Tadmit MFA/Flickr Source: Tadmit MFA/Flickr

As we know, one of the best ways to stop any kind of disease before it can really develop into something more dangerous is through a vaccine, and that’s exactly what this mother-daughter team of researchers decided to focus on.

Dr. Chang Yi Wang, Ph.D. and her daughter, Mei Mei Hu (pictured below), as well as Wang’s son-in-law, Louis Reese, founded their own biotech company called United Neuroscience. They set about developing and testing an Alzheimer’s vaccine, and have released the first results of their trials. The news is very positive and exciting for the medical community at large.

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Brainstorm Health/Flickr Source: Brainstorm Health/Flickr

The vaccine is made up of synthetic versions of amino acid chains which work to make antibodies that can attack and destroy Alzheimer’s proteins in the body, without any nasty side effects.

In an interview with Wired, Wang explained:

We were able to generate some antibodies in all patients, which is unusual for vaccines. We’re talking about almost a 100 percent response rate. So far, we have seen an improvement in three out of three measurements of cognitive performance for patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease.

In simple terms, every single individual given the United Neuroscience vaccine developed antibodies to fight off Alzheimer’s. That’s a major improvement on previous attempts at vaccine development.

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Mariano Cuajao/Flickr Source: Mariano Cuajao/Flickr

It’s important to note that this was only a small study, and James Brown of the Aston University Research Centre for Healthy Ageing has said that “larger numbers” are required before we can start getting too hopeful.

However, Brown also said that the vaccine “could be the best chance we’ve got” of someday effectively curing Alzheimer’s.

Right now, the company is working on the next run of trials, with $100 million already invested and an ultimate goal of creating a wide range of vaccines to help prevent many different chronic illnesses. It’s very inspiring and encouraging, and we have to hope that the team will be successful. If they can find any kind of cure for Alzheimer’s, so much suffering will be prevented.

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Source: Elle

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