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.
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