We have all heard of or received vaccines for various health issues, including shingles, pneumonia, hepatitis, and COVID-19. We may be able to add a vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease to that list in the future.
According to Being Patient, vaccines can train the immune system to get rid of the tau or amyloid proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This can help the body to have active immunity. Ideally, as more people get identified as at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, giving a vaccine and maybe other treatments could help to prevent Alzheimer’s or lower its severity.
There are currently nine vaccines for Alzheimer’s disease in clinical trials. Clinical trials are divided into three phases: Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3, with Phase 3 drugs the furthest along. One of the vaccines is currently in the Phase 3 stage, UB-311, from the company Vaxxinity. In its Phase 3 trial, the company plans to include more than 3,200 participants with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease. Those participants will receive three vaccines and four boosters to see if it is possible to prevent or reduce the severity of Alzheimer’s disease.
The vaccines under development for Alzheimer’s disease target one of the following:
- Tau protein
- Beta-amyloid plaque
- Immune system-modulating vaccines that stimulate the immune system but do not specifically protect against Alzheimer’s proteins.
One of the vaccines, called Protollin, is a nasal vaccine instead of an intramuscular vaccine. Protollin is still in the early stages.
Approval of a vaccine against Alzheimer’s is still several years off and reliant upon clinical effectiveness. Still, researchers are hopeful that one or more of these vaccines will help cut down on the pain and suffering associated with Alzheimer’s.
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