Scientists made a breakthrough development in a vaccine for Alzheimer’s that could be available in three to five years, according to a study published Thursday by a joint University of California and Flinders University research team.
The research team successfully created a vaccine formulation that targets the proteins that create and lead to Alzheimer’s disease. The study was published in the peer reviewed journal Nature’s Scientific Reports.
“If we are successful in pre-clinical trials, in three to five years, we could be well on the way to one of the most important developments in recent medical history,” Dr. Nikolai Petrovsky, a professor at the Flinders University School of Medicine who is the director of the company creating the vaccine, wrote in a press statement.
The vaccine research was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The same company that is currently developing the vaccine, also created the world’s first swine flu vaccine during the 2009 pandemic and is involved with Ebola and Zika virus research.
“This study suggests that we can immunise patients at the early stages of AD, or even healthy people at risk for AD, using our anti-amyloid-beta vaccine, and, if the disease progresses, then vaccinate with another anti-tau vaccine to increase effectiveness,” Dr. Anahit Ghochikyan, who co-authored the study, told the press.
With more than 48 million dementia cases in 2015, Alzheimer’s affected 48 million people in 2015 and is one of the costliest diseases affecting the world’s health care systems. Dementia-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s cost the world more than $600 billion a year, according to a 2010 study by the World Health Organisation. Congress spends $1.3 billion on Alzheimer’s research every year.
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