Huge Alzheimer’s breakthrough as scientists say new jab might ‘remodel’ lives | UK | News | EUROtoday

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A revolutionary jab, which is designed to take away poisonous proteins from the mind earlier than they trigger the harm resulting in the most typical type of dementia, is present process trials on sufferers within the early levels of the illness.

Once by means of scientific trials scientists say it might be broadly out there inside 5 years, stopping future generations from the distress of being struck down by Alzheimer’s or seeing family members slowly diminish.

Last evening scientists mentioned the discover was doubtlessly a “large breakthrough”.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia affecting approximately 540,000 in the UK. This is predicted to rise to 960,000 by 2040.

It can lead to a gradual decline in memory, thinking and ability to function.

A former senior police officer who developed the disease last year and is taking part in the phase two trials says his life has been “transformed” after just three jabs.

West End star Ruthie Henshall, 57, whose late mother Gloria had dementia, says the jab could be a “miracle” for sufferers.

The mother-of-two said: “A drug would be a miracle because there are enormous numbers of people with dementia and it’s on the rise because we’re living longer.

“This drug could be the hope people have been dreaming of – up there with finding the cure for cancer.”

Studies of the vaccine to prevent the degenerative brain disorder are being carried out in five centres across the UK, including at Oxford and Cambridge universities, as well as centres in Europe and the US.

The UK trials are backed by the government’s National Institute for Health and Care Research.

The first results will be presented at a conference in Philadelphia in the US in July, where experts will show images of brain scans showing the effect of the new vaccine on the brain.

Scientists believe Alzheimer’s is caused when naturally occurring proteins – called amyloid – become abnormal or “misfolded” and clump together in “plaques” in the brain, causing irreparable damage over time.

Previous treatments have tried to repair this damage but have come with potentially serious side effects including brain bleeds.

The new vaccine aims to stop this damage before it is caused and seems to have only mild side effects.

The drug, known as ACI-24, stimulates the body’s immune system to target these toxic amyloid proteins and clear them from the brain – in much the same way as the Covid jab supercharges our body’s natural protections.

The therapy – administered over a series of up to five injections in the course of a year – prompts the body’s own immune cells to “lock on” to those poisonous proteins and take away them.

The trials will contain 140 individuals with indicators of early stage illness recognized by mind scans. One arm of the research will contain folks aged 50-85 and the opposite will contain folks aged 35-50, who’re at drastically elevated danger of growing Alzheimer’s as a result of they’ve Down syndrome.

If profitable scientists hope they may ultimately have the ability to supply the vaccine to folks as a preventative measure earlier than any indicators of the illness have proven.

Dr Shahid Zaman, an Alzheimer’s knowledgeable at Cambridge University, mentioned: “This is so important and exciting especially for the Down syndrome population who have a gene which overproduces this toxic amyloid protein putting them at very high risk of this disease. We finally have something that targets the amyloid protein and clears it. We can be very optimistic this vaccine will prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.”

He added: “Alzheimer’s can take decades of time before symptoms appear due to a build up of damage. For over a decade drug companies have put millions of pounds into drugs to target the amyloid plaques in the brain, but previous drugs have been shown to have awful side effects including brain bleeds. While this vaccine still has some side effects they are far less. I am very excited.”

Roger Quemby, 52, from Sutton, Surrey, who has Down syndrome, underwent a battery of checks final week to find out whether or not he can be a part of the trial.

He mentioned: “I would be very happy to have any drug to prevent Alzheimer’s.”

Leading dementia knowledgeable Dr Emer MacSweeney, CEO and medical director of Re:Cognition Health, a specialist service for mind issues which is concerned within the trial, mentioned: “The potential for a new vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease is very exciting and could be a massive breakthrough.”

Dr Andrea Pfeifer, chief government of AC Immune, the corporate which has developed the brand new remedy, mentioned: “This could absolutely be a game-changer.

“This could ultimately treat a population of hundreds of millions of people who develop this terrible disease which causes so much suffering to patients and their loved ones.”

For info on ongoing research for reminiscence loss contact Re:Cognition Health 0800 802 1030

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Former police chief Jon Clayden, 59, says his well being has “transformed” after being placed on the vaccine trial in November final 12 months.

The ex-detective chief inspector from Hever, Kent had turn into more and more forgetful and fewer talkative earlier than was recognized with early stage Alzheimer’s in May 2023.

Jon was referred to specialist mind clinic Re:Cognition in London the place he has had three of a complete of 5 doses of the vaccine or a dummy drug. As a part of the trial protocols he’s not allowed to know which.

He mentioned: “I had been struggling. Comparing me to when I was diagnosed to now, the change is something to behold. I have more vocabulary and can do things independently that I wasn’t doing.”

His spouse Julia, 55, who runs a world relocation enterprise, mentioned: “Jon would return again to the home to get issues he had forgotten like a pockets or cellphone or he would neglect what we had eaten the evening earlier than. He wasn’t speaking nicely as a result of he was below a cloud of dementia. Since he went on the trial he has reworked and is again to the vocal assured individual he was. The change is completely phenomenal. It’s unbelievable.”

West End star Ruthie Henshall whose late mom Gloria suffered from dementia mentioned she would take a drug to stop Alzheimer’s ‘in a heartbeat.’

The 5 time Olivier award successful actress, bitterly remembers the months working as much as her 87-year previous moms loss of life, throughout a Covid lockdown in May 2021 when restrictions forbade her from visiting her care dwelling.

“After watching my mom, if I used to be instructed I had dementia I would not wish to undergo that. Especially after all the pieces that occurred to mum in lockdown.

“I might take a drug in a heartbeat. A drug could be a miracle as a result of there are huge numbers of individuals with dementia and it is on the rise as a result of we’re dwelling longer. But additionally, it terrifies me.

This drug might be the hope folks have been dreaming of – up there with discovering the remedy for most cancers. Because it is sort of a most cancers for anyone who will get it because it impacts the thoughts and the physique and is so progressive and might be so quick. It devastates not simply the sufferer, all people round them will undergo.