If 2021 will be recalled as the year for COVID-19 vaccines, perhaps 2022 will make its mark with a different version of life-changing vaccine: one which may actually slow or prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
The first human trial of Protollin, delivered by way of nasal spray, is underway in 16 seniors between the ages of 60 and 85 with early-stage Alzheimer’s symptoms. The desired end result of this vaccine for Alzheimer’s is to activate immune cells that will remove the beta-amyloid plaque believed to cause the disease.
Arriving on the heels of controversial results of Biogen’s Aduhelm, the first new approved drug for Alzheimer’s in decades, the stakes are high. Aduhelm is an antibody infusion that initially appeared to fail in its goal of improving memory and cognition functioning, leading Biogen to discontinue clinical trials. However, a number of months later, there did seem to be a positive impact in a small group of participants, leading the Food And Drug Administration to approve its use – even though the outcomes are not definitively clear.
Identifying an effective treatment or preventative option is vitally important. The most current statistics show nearly 6 million Americans currently diagnosed with the disease. It is also among the leading causes of death in adults within the U.S., with a sharp increase in mortality rate of 88% between 1999 and 2019. And that figure might only be scratching the surface, because it represents only those clinically diagnosed. We all know that individuals with cognitive impairment may struggle with receiving an appropriate diagnosis, and that they often are challenged by other health issues as well.
Researchers are hopeful that Protollin, as well as Aduhelm and other antibody drugs undergoing study, are putting us on a promising path forward. Jeffrey Cummings, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas brain-science professor, goes as far as to say, “It just feels like we have turned a corner.”
At JFS Care, our senior care experts are helping older adults with Alzheimer’s each day, and we excitedly look forward to a day when the disease is defeated. Until then, we’re here for you with personalized, creative care to help make life the very best it can be for older adults with dementia.
It is vitally important for family members caring for a person with dementia to protect their own health by ensuring ample time for self-care. Our dementia respite care team is available to help you arrange a schedule for regular time away – as much or as little as you desire. We’re skilled in effective management of many difficult signs of the disease, including wandering, agitation, aggression, sundowning, and many more.