Alzheimer's in the brain
Science Ticker

Nasal Alzheimer's Vaccine Enters Human Trials

A substance called Protollin is entering clinical trials at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston as a vaccine against Alzheimer's. Protollin, an adjuvant derived from bacterial proteins that have previously been used in vaccines to stimulate the immune system. The vaccine is intended to activate white blood cells in the lymph nodes of the neck to migrate to the brain and begin clearing beta amyloid plaques.

After decades without new treatments for Alzheimer's, the field seems to be picking up speed. The buildup of beta amyloid plaques is known to be the most visible evidence of Alzheimer's, though it is still not understood how that buildup causes neurological symptoms in patients. 

The 16 patient trial is intended to determine proper dosage of the vaccine, while later studies will study the effectiveness. Researchers are screening patients between 60 and 85 years old who have early symptoms of Alzheimer's. For more, visit WBUR.