London: Scientists have made one of the biggest potential breakthroughs in the search for Alzheimer’s treatments.
A revolutionary jab that could stop the onslaught of the disease may be available within two years.
Although it would not be a cure, the vaccine has been proven to halt and even reverse the damage caused to the brain by the mind-robbing condition.
It is one of only two vaccines for the condition to have reached the final stages of testing, known as phase three.
It is now in the final stages of clinical trials and is being tested on more than 10,000 patients around the world, including hundreds in the UK.
The bapineuzumab jab prevents or even reverses the build-up of amyloid, the toxic protein that clogs the brain in Alzheimer’s, destroying vital connections between cells. It is hoped this will dramatically slow the progress of the disease.
“Hopefully the vaccine will make a big difference to Alzheimer’s treatment. If we can give it early – before major brain impairment is seen – it may have an important part to play,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr David Wilkinson, from Southampton University’s Memory Assessment and Research Centre, who was involved in some of the earliest research into Alzheimer’s vaccines in the 1990s, as saying.
“If it can clear amyloid plaques from the brain and we can give it very early in the disease process, it may prevent some of the damage,” added Wilkinson.