A vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease could be on the horizon after scientists carried out successful trials in animals.
Researchers from the US and Germany were able to reverse memory loss in mice and are keen to move quickly to human trials.
The vaccine trains the immune system to fight a type of sticky amyloid beta protein in the brain that accumulates in people with dementia, preventing communication between neurons.
Professor Carr added: “While the science is currently still at an early stage, if these results were to be replicated in human clinical trials, then it could be transformative.
“It opens up the possibility to not only treat Alzheimer’s once symptoms are detected, but also to potentially vaccinate against the disease before symptoms appear.”
The researchers are looking to find a commercial partner to take the therapeutic antibody and the vaccine through clinical trials.
Commenting on the research, which was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, Dr Susan Kohlhaas, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Currently there is no disease-modifying treatment available for people with Alzheimer’s in the UK, making drug development even more urgent.
“In this thorough and well-conducted research carried out in mice with features of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists found a vaccine administered through injection found the intended target and helped improve metabolism in brain regions associated with memory and thinking.
“Early results in a behavioural task suggest the mice had improved memory and thinking, hinting that this could be a promising new approach, and one that has so far not been tested in Alzheimer’s drugs in clinical trials.