Immunotherapy fights Alzheimer's disease
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses an exciting finding from her research group that uses immunotherapy to prevent neurofibrillary tangles in mice.
We use amyloid beta immunotherapy as a potential therapeutic intervention in Alzheimerâ€™s disease that would be disease-modifying, meaning that we are modifying one of the pathologies of Alzheimerâ€™s disease. The way this works is just like when you get your measles shot when you are a child. You are given a piece of the measles virus, and your body responds to that to make antibodies, which make you immune so the next time your body sees measles, the antibodies will bind to it and your body removes it before you have any symptoms. So if you take that idea and you take it to Alzheimerâ€™s disease, the approach that we have most recently used is to take the a-beta [amyloid beta] peptide that is a component of an amyloid plaque (the only component), and take this a-beta and stimulate the mouse in our case to make antibodies to the a-beta. So, now the mouse has anti-a-beta antibodies circulating, and by several different mechanisms that have been studied over the last ten years, we know that this antibody will bind to the a-beta and essentially target it for removal by the body. And so, the a-beta gets removed from the brain. What we have most recently shown is that, by doing this, we can now reduce the tau pathology, the neurofibrillary tangles, and we also prevent neuron loss. So this is really encouraging from a standpoint that we have been able to target one of the pathologies of Alzheimerâ€™s disease and affect all of the pathologies of Alzheimerâ€™s disease in a mouse model. And actually this is really the first mouse model that weâ€™ve been able to test this in, because itâ€™s the first mouse model that does have amyloid plaques, tau pathology, and neuron loss.
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An overview of Alzheimer's disease-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses the process of going from a mouse model to human trials for testing the amyloid beta immunization for Alzheimer's disease.
Professor Donna Wilcock describes how neurofibrillary tangles choke neurons, causing them to die. This is one of three hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
Neurofibrillary tangles are bundles of tau proteins, which mark the tau gene (MAPT) as a strong candidate for Alzheimer’s disease.
Professor Donna Wilcock describes neurofibrillary tangles, which form inside the neuron in Alzheimer's disease and are composed of tau proteins.
Professor Kenneth Kosik discusses neurofibrillary tangles, which form inside a cell and are made up of a protein called tau. There is a strong relationship with plaques and amyloid deposition.
Professor Donna Wilcock explains that Aricept can only provide short-term benefit in treating Alzheimer's disease.
Professor Donna Wilcock describes amyloid plaques as clumps of protein in the brain that are one of the three hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
PBS's 'Secret Life of the Brain' reviews research on the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
Genes that can cause neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques are strongly associated with Alzheimer's disease.