Sunday, April 08, 2007

Alzheimer's Vaccine Mends Minds of Mice

news you may not know

What Grocery List?


What's with Shorty today anyway? Yesterday he was right there at the front of the pack. Seemed he couldn't wait to get hitched up and head out. But, today? Heck, looks like he'd rather just hang around under the couch, or the refrigerator, the stove, the entertainment center - just about anywhere that keeps him away from his little red work harness.


It's been a tough go the last few months but, even with the occasional work stoppages, you feel pretty encouraged. Sure, it was a bit of a shock to have your doc blurt out the "A" word - after all, who's ever really ready to admit they have Alzheimer's? But, you did some poking around on the Internet and there it was! A study showing the Japanese had developed a vaccine that cures Alzheimer's - in mice.

So, you figured, while you still had your wits about you, you'd train a bunch of mice to help with simple, everyday sort of stuff. Teach them the routes to the neighborhood stores and shops, show them where you keep your meds, maybe how to make a few simple dishes. So far, it's worked out pretty well.

Oh sure, you're quite the sight walking down the sidewalk with a cadre of eager mice on tiny red leashes...

Japanese researchers have indeed developed a vaccine that shows tremendous promise in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. The vaccine targets the amyloid plaques within the brain that are thought to be at the center of the disease. During the course of the study, the vaccine effectively reduced the amyloid plaques within the brains of the treated mice.

The study utilized mice that were genetically modified so they developed Alzheimer's. Following treatment with the vaccine, the treated mice showed an improvement in mental function to levels close to their pre-Alzheimer's state.

The Japanese scientists hope to begin human Phase I clinical trials this year. In the United States, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, in conjunction with Ireland's Elan Corporation, is also developing a vaccine that targets amyloid plaques.

OK - fourteen little leashes all hooked up and just one to go. You're darn tempted to just head to the grocer without Shorty, but there's a problem - He's got the shopping list...

To read more about the Japanese study, see this from Reuters. To read more about the American research, see this from Elan.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yahoo for mice! And for a possible vaccine treatment for Alzheimers. My hubby builds and manages Alzheimer's homes...anything that might slow down or halt that disease...

9:20 AM  

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