Alzheimer Spray Cure
In 1906, Alzheimer’s disease was first discovered after observing the neuropathological anatomy of a 55-year old woman’s brain. For years after that, the disease has been a constant focus of various studies in both psychiatry and neuropathology. Yet now roughly a hundred years later, scientists still have not found the cause and cure of this brain disorder. Furthermore, there is no real treatment available.
So what is medical science doing with Alzheimer’s research? And how far are we from the time the concept of Alzheimer’s disease was first introduced to us by Dr. Alois Alzheimer?
The answer can be found in scientists’ new discovery of a treatment option in the form of one very simple-looking nasal spray.
Nose drops anyone?
Who would have thought? All those years of research, a century of medical history, and tons and tons of scientific paperwork to do…who would have thought it would all boil down to this: an nasal Alzheimer spray cure. Well, granted that this Alzheimer spray cure is not really a cure, in the sense that it would not put an effective halt to the disease, but it does help stop the disease from further progression.
In a study published in 2005 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, scientist Howard Weiner, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, US, and his colleagues have discovered the new Alzheimer spray cure. The vaccine, introduced nasally via nose drops, has been shown to clear plaques from the brains of affected mice.
Previous attempts at producing a therapeutic vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease all involved antibodies that act against beta amyloid, the protein that occurs naturally in our body and is widely considered as the potential cause of the disease.
In many cases of Alzheimer’s, patients show plaques in the brain, purportedly caused by these beta amyloid proteins. Scientists believed that by getting rid or reducing the levels of beta amyloid content in the brain would reverse the damage caused by the plaques. However, the antibody approach to curing Alzheimer’s was halted after 15 out of 360 volunteers in the studies developed swelling in the brain.
Now, the Alzheimer spray cure developed by Howard Weiner and his team could be the answer many patients of this brain disorder are looking for.
“Sometimes, Inflammation is Good.”
The study on the Alzheimer spray cure came about after Weiner discovered the intriguing fact that brain inflammation in the earlier trial coincided with exceptional clearance of beta amyloid. A few experiments later, Weiner found that mice with Alzheimer’s also cleared the beta amyloid from their brains after they were subjected to treatment that caused them to develop multiple sclerosis-like brain inflammation.
“Sometimes, inflammation is good,” he was reported to have said.
Later on, it was discovered that inflammation caused the brain to activate its specialized cells called microglia, which was responsible for ingesting the beta amyloid. This led them to the Alzheimer spray cure, the pharmacological make up of which included a combination of glatiramer acetate (Copaxone), an approved MS drug that acts as a decoy for errant immune system attacks, and Protollin, an adjuvant that stimulates innate immunity.
The Alzheimer spray cure is set to be tested on humans this year.