Nasal Alzheimer's Vaccine Study

Alzheimer’s Vaccine: Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital nasal spray trials underway

Could an Alzheimer’s Vaccine Prevent the Disease?

An Alzheimer’s vaccine in nasal spray form has been in development for almost two decades by Dr. Howard Weiner, co-director of the Ann Romney Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Now that novel treatment is in a clinical trial.

How It Works

Weiner explained that the novel treatment triggers the body’s immune system, spurring self-healing.

“What we’re doing, it’s never been done before,” said Dr. Howard Weiner. In five years, he hopes to be able to FDA approval for the vaccine.

Currently, in Phase 1 trials, the study comprises 16 participants with early-stage symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The wife of one of the study subjects, Cindy Goldberg noticed changes in her husband, Jeff, five years ago when he became confused and was no longer able to “do the checkbook.”

The Goldbergs found out about the drug study in December 2021, and Jeff felt he had “nothing to lose except everything to gain” by joining the trial.

After monitoring participants for six months to evaluate dosage and safety, researchers then hope to launch a larger vaccine trial. The principal investigator, Dr. Tanuja Chitnis, believes that they are “making good progress so far” and they are “not seeing any major issues.”

To Weiner, who lost his own mother to the disease, the vaccine is a personal mission.

The Goldbergs are just as committed. One of their grandchildren – an eight year old – recently told them he wants to become a doctor and find a cure for Alzheimer’s as well,  so his “Grampy won’t forget who [he is].”

This new Alzeimer’s vaccine trial has only recruited patients who already show early signs of the disease, but Weiner hopes to make the nasal spray available to at-risk populations before they are symptomatic.

To learn more about the study, visit the BWH Press Release page.

If you or a love one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, find out about Cadbury Commons’ Memory Care Program >

Honoring Grandmothers on Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, let grandmothers know how much you care! Whether she lives close by or visits when she can, grandmothers play a special role in families. Grandmothers can be friends, impart wisdom, provide childcare, or be a loving support even from a distance. Sometimes through necessity, grandmothers actually become ‘moms’ to their grandchildren. A positive relationship between a grandmother and grandchild often brings more happiness and stability to the entire family.

Five Reasons Why Grandparents Are So Important

Grandmothers impact the lives of their grandchildren.

As many as 9 out of 10 adult grandchildren say that grandmothers have shaped their values and beliefs, studies suggest. Grandchildren learn about forming healthy relationships from the bonds they make with grandparents and other relatives and the support and intimacy they receive.

Grandmothers can help to reduce household stress.

“An emotionally close relationship between grandparent and grandchild is associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations” finds a 2014 study at Boston College.  A grandmother involved in kids’ lives provide special times of creative fun, exploration and play. From a child’s perspective, grandmothers pass on a unique perspective on the world. In a survey from the American Grandparents Association, nearly three-quarters of grandparents believe being a grandparent is the by far the most important and satisfying role in their lives.

Grandmothers are an experienced and valuable resource.

Through stories and lived experiences, grandmothers can often help shape children’s outlooks in ways their own parent or other adults cannot. They also provide a cultural and historic bridge between the generations. Children can more fully learn about who they are and where they come from through this connection.

Grandmothers provide an extra layer of support.

In challenging times – or even in good times – grandmothers can give a sense of security which positively impacts children’s lives, and especially with teens. Close bonds with a grandmother can help teens avoid social problems or lessen acting out. When a child or teen finds it difficult to speak with a parent, a grandmother can give advice or simply be a neutral and empathetic listener.

Grandmothers are often a reliable and affordable childcare option.

According to the 2010 Census, roughly 2.7 million grandparents provide for the basic needs of a grandchild, while even more take care of their grandchildren on a regular basis. If grandmothers are willing and able to be an occasional babysitter or regular childcare provider, parents are comforted by having them in charge.

Whatever the reason, celebrating grandmothers on Mother’s Day is a wonderful way to let them know how much they are valued and appreciated for all they do!