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Possible Vaccine For Alzheimer’s Disease Makes Good Progress

  December, 24 2000 7:28
your information resource in human molecular genetics

Three groups this week report encouraging progress towards a possible vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease (Nature, Vol. 408, No. 6815, 21 Dec 2000; pp. 975–979, 979–982, 982–985). Using mice genetically engineered to mimic the condition, the researchers show that the vaccine delays some of the memory and learning problems that plague people with Alzheimer’s disease.

It was previously unknown whether mice with Alzheimer’s disease suffered such mental problems as they aged — even though they build up ‘beta amyloid’ protein deposits in the brain similar to those that occur in humans. Using a new experimental set-up that makes the mice perform specific memory tasks over time, Richard Morris of Edinburgh University, UK, and colleagues now show that they do.

But vaccination with beta-amyloid slows this mental deterioration, Peter St George-Hyslop of the University of Toronto, Canada, and colleagues and Dave Morgan of the University of South Florida, Tampa, and colleagues, also show. It was already known that such vaccines stop beta-amyloid deposits from forming in mouse brains.

Although there is still some way to go, the three studies "give cause for optimism," says Paul Chapman of the Cardiff School of Biosciences, UK, in an accompanying News and Views article.


Peter St George-Hyslop
tel +1 416 978 7461
fax +1 416 978 1878
email p.hyslop@utoronto.edu

Dave Morgan
tel +1 813 974 3949
fax +1 813 974 2565
email dmorgan@hsc.usf.edu

Richard Morris
tel +44 131 650 3520
fax +44 131 650 6530
email r.g.m.morris@ed.ac.uk

Paul Chapman
tel +44 2920 874 629
fax +44 2920 874 744
email chapmanpf@cf.ac.uk

(C) Nature press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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