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New Vaccine said to Cure Alzheimer's
Passes First Clinical Trials

July, 2000 - The first phase of a vaccine said to cure Alzheimer's Disease, has been successfully completed, says scientists from Elan Pharmaceuticals. The results of the trials were released at the World Alzheimer's Congress.

"It's gone remarkably smoothly. In the U.S. we've done single dose studies and they're nearly complete and so far things have gone remarkably well. We've not encountered any problems at all in Alzheimer's patients themselves," Dr. Dale Schenk, vice president of discovery research at Elan Pharmaceuticals told CNN Medical News."

"Assuming everything works out, this vaccine not only will treat Alzheimer's Disease, but will also prevent Alzheimer's. It will completely change the face of Alzheimer's therapeutics now and forever if it works," said Dr. Ivan Lieberburg, executive vice president and chief science and medical officer for the Elan Corporation

In addition, researchers and Brigham and Women's Hospital report encouraging results with a similar, nasal vaccine. "There is a 50-60 percent decrease in the amount of amyloid plaques and indeed the amount of a-beta proteins in the brains of mice who have gotten chronic nasal treatment," their report said.

Though there is always an amount of caution in approaching such treasure of a cure to a diease at the end of the rainbow, researchers say the results of these initial tests are encouraging even though further tests need to be done.

"I think the vaccine immunization hypothesis is very exciting," said
Dr. Ronald Peterson of the Mayo Clinic. "There is a lot of work that needs to be done with regards to its safety, its effectiveness, whether it will work in humans as it has in mice. But nevertheless, the major hypothesis is still very interesting for the possibility of prevention of the disease."

Alzheimer's disease, which affects more than 4 million people across the United States, is the leading cause of dementia. It was recently estimated that the disease, at its present rate of growth, was going to affect 22 million people by 2025.


Alzheimer's World Conference 2000 Press Release

Other Articles

Doctor's Don't Recognize Dementia as Terminal - July 5, 2000

Researchers Say Brain Plaque Cause of Alzheimer's - March 22, 2000

Other Sources of Information

Alzheimer's Association

American Geriatrics Society

Elan Pharmaceuticals Web Site