One step closer to Alzheimer’s vaccine?

A team of researchers in Quebec may have found a way to prompt the brain’s own defense mechanisms to fight Alzheimer’s disease.

As Alzheimer’s disease develops, a toxic molecule called amyloid beta begins to attack the brain. For some reason, microglial cells – the brain’s natural defense against toxins like this – do not attack the amyloid beta molecules. As the amyloid beta molecules spread, plaque begins to form on the brain, causing cognitive decline.

Researchers found that the molecule monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) actually spurs the microglial cells into action against the amyloid beta. In a study of MPL, mice with Alzheimer’s disease symptoms that were injected with MPL once a week for 12 weeks had an 80 percent reduction in plaque caused by amyloid beta.

MPL injections have been safely used on humans for other purposes for many years.

Sourced from: Science Daily, Major Step Toward an Alzheimer's Vaccine