Trials of the Brigham vaccine and Alzheimer’s disease are ongoing

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Imagine this: a vaccine that could stop Alzheimer’s disease. A treatment that could relieve millions of families of the pain and grief of watching someone they love slip away is now undergoing clinical trials in Boston. “What we’ve been doing has never been done before,” said Dr. Howard Weiner, co-director of the Ann Romney Center in Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Weiner has been working on a nasal spray vaccine for nearly two decades. The treatment relies on an immunomulator called Protollin, a drug made up of proteins derived from bacteria. It is designed to activate white blood cells to begin cleansing of the plaque on the brain, a hallmark of the disease. “What we do is trigger the body’s own immune system, the body’s own defenses to heal itself,” Weiner explained. Currently, the vaccine is in the first phase of trials – at an early stage involving only 16 participants who are already showing symptoms of the disease. This group includes Jeff Goldberg of Easton. He and his family first noticed some changes five years ago. “He could no longer make a checkbook. He was confused, ”Goldberg’s wife Cindy said. After Goldberg’s diagnosis, the family learned about the early stages of the vaccine trial, which began last December. Goldberg was on board. “I just said, yeah, I’ll do it. I have nothing to lose but what I can gain, ”he said. Patients in the current trial are followed for six months while researchers evaluate dosage and safety. Then, hopefully, we’ll start larger-scale vaccine trials. “So far we are making good progress,” said Dr. Tanuja Chitnis, chief investigator of the trial. “Everything seems to be going very well and we don’t see any serious problems.” For Weiner, this mission is personal. “I lost my mother to Alzheimer’s disease,” he said. “I heard that all people survived, and, you know, he was worried with his mother. So, I mean, you’re not going to quit. ” This fighting spirit is strong in the Goldbergs as well. Even to the youngest members of the family. “One of my grandchildren, he’s 8,” Cindy Goldberg said. “He says,‘ Grandma, I want to be a doctor when I grow up. Do you know why? Because I want to find a cure for Alzheimer’s so my grandfather doesn’t forget who I am. Yeah. How about that? ” Currently, only patients who already have symptoms are participating in the trial. But Weiner hopes that in the future the vaccine may be available to people who are simply at risk of developing the disease. He hopes to get the FDA’s approval of the vaccine in about five years.

Imagine this: a vaccine that could stop Alzheimer’s disease.

A treatment that could relieve millions of families of the pain and mental breakdown of watching someone they love pop up is now in clinical trials in Boston.

“What we do has never been done before,” said Dr. Howard Weiner, co-director. Anne Romney Center at Brigham Women’s Hospital.

Weiner has been working on a nasal spray vaccine for nearly two decades. The treatment relies on an immunomulator called Protollin, a drug made up of proteins derived from bacteria. It is designed to activate white blood cells to begin clearing plaque on the brain, a hallmark of the disease.

“What we do is trigger the body’s own immune system, the body’s own defenses to heal itself,” Weiner explained.

Currently, the vaccine is in the first phase of trials – at an early stage involving only 16 participants who are already showing symptoms of the disease.

This group includes Jeff Goldberg of Easton. He and his family first noticed some changes five years ago.

“He could no longer make a checkbook. He was confused, ”Goldberg’s wife Cindy said.

After Goldberg’s diagnosis, the family learned about the early stages of the vaccine trial, which began last December. Goldberg was on board.

“I just said, yeah, I’ll do it. I have nothing to lose but what I can gain, ”he said.

Patients in the current trial are followed for six months while researchers evaluate dosage and safety. Then, hopefully, we’ll start larger-scale vaccine trials.

“So far we are making good progress,” said Dr. Tanuja Chitnis, chief investigator of the trial. “Everything seems to be going very well and we don’t see any serious problems.”

For Weiner, this mission is personal.

“I lost my mother to Alzheimer’s disease,” he said. “I heard that all people survived, and, you know, he was worried with his mother. So, I mean, you’re not going to quit. “

This fighting spirit is strong in the Goldbergs as well. Even to the youngest members of the family.

“One of my grandchildren, he’s 8,” Cindy Goldberg said. “He says,‘ Grandma, I want to be a doctor when I grow up. Do you know why? Because I want to find a cure for Alzheimer’s so my grandfather doesn’t forget who I am. Yeah. How about that? ”

Currently, only patients who already have symptoms are participating in the trial. But Weiner hopes that in the future the vaccine may be available to people who are simply at risk of developing the disease.

He hopes to get FDA-approved vaccines in about five years.

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