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Alzheimer's Vaccine Combats Tau Protein

Scientists from the New York University Medical Centre have developed an Alzheimer's disease vaccine that combats tau protein in the nervous system of lab mice

According to US scientists, a new vaccine that works by fighting a prominant protein found in Alzheimer's disease may offer hope for a possible cure.

Abnormal tau protein accumulates in the part of a person's brain responsible for memory, however the new vaccine created by scientists at the New York University Medical Centre (NYUMC) prevented the protein from tangling in certain parts of the nervous system in lab mice.

The vaccine prompted the appearance of antibodies that worked by entering the brain and effectively binding to the tau protein thus rendering it useless and due to the success of the study on mice, scientists hope that a similar result will occur in human subjects.

This is the first study to show that a vaccine has the ability to induce the immune system to fight against tau protein, a fact that holds lots of promise for the future.

"This approach may have extensive therapeutic implications , because you can specifically target the problematic protein," team leader Einar Sigurdsson, assistant professor of psychiatry and pathology, said in a prepared statement .

"Tau aggregates are inside the cell, making it especially difficult to develop a therapy to target and clear them from the cell," Sigurdsson noted .

The study is published in the August 22 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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