Are We Getting Closer to an Alzheimer’s Vaccine?

Updated: Jan 21, 2019

United Neuroscience Inc, an Irish startup, has reported that 96 percent of participants in a small clinical trial positively responded to an Alzheimer’s vaccine - without major side effects.

Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder that gradually impairs cognitive functions, estimated to impact over 5.5 millions Americans. For years, the medical field has been working to find a vaccine for the debilitating disease. Several have seemed promising, but eventually led to severe side effects when the immune systems of those receiving the vaccine reacted in overdrive.

United's trial found patients showed a reduction in protein plaque between neurons, as well as improved brain function. The company is led by CEO Mei Mei Hu, JD, her husband, Lou Reese, and Hu's mother, Chang Yi Wang, PhD. Wang is a researcher who has developed vital tools in the medical field, including a vaccine for animals that protects against foot-and-mouth disease and a blood-screening kit that is available at a price point accessible to individuals in developing areas.

The study consisted of 42 patients, which does not allow for any certain conclusions - and the vaccine singularly targets amyloid, which is only one of the suspected causes of the disease. Still, the progress is an exciting step in the right direction, and United is currently focusing on raising more resources to fund another, larger study and refine its ever-expanding group of vaccinations.