MPL Vaccine Could Treat, Prevent Alzheimer's Disease in Humans
January 16, 2013 10:32 AM
The weekly injection removed 80 percent of senile plaques that cause Alzheimer's
Canadian researchers have come one giant step closer to finding treatment for those with
, and even a preventative vaccine.
The team of researchers hail from Université Laval, CHU de Québec, and pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and was led by Dr. Serge Rivest, professor at Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine and researcher at the CHU de Québec research center.
A key part of Alzheimer's disease is the production of a toxic molecule called amyloid beta. The body's defenders, called microglial cells, cannot eliminate amyloid beta, and that's when senile plaques are formed.
But the new study gives the brain's immune cells a boost through monophosphoryl lipid A, called MPL, which is a vaccine that has already been proven safe through its use with GSK.
After giving mice with Alzheimer's symptoms weekly injections of MPL for 12 weeks, about 80 percent of senile plaques were eliminated. Also, the mice showed improvement in cognitive function.
According to the team, the MPL injection could not only slow the progression of the disease in patients already showing symptoms, but also be used as a preventative vaccine for those at risk.
Last September, the cancer drugs
erlotinib (Tarceva) and gefitinib (Iressa) were used to
cure Alzheimer's in fruit flies and rats
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