If 2021 will be recalled as the year for COVID-19 vaccines, perhaps 2022 will make its mark with a different type of life-changing vaccine: A new Alzheimer’s vaccine that might actually slow or prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
The first human trial of Protollin, delivered through nasal spray, has begun in 16 seniors with-early stage Alzheimer’s symptoms and who are between the ages of 60 and 85 years old. The anticipated outcome will be 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 at first seemed to fail in its goal of improving memory and cognition functioning, leading Biogen to discontinue clinical trials. However several 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 latest statistics show approximately 6 million Americans currently clinically determined to have the disease. It is also among the leading causes of death in adults in the United States, with a steep increase in mortality rate of 88% between 1999 and 2019. And that figure may only be scratching the surface, as it represents only those clinically diagnosed. We know that individuals with cognitive impairment may have trouble with receiving an appropriate diagnosis, and they often are challenged by other health issues as well.
Scientists 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 brain-science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, goes so far as to say, “It just feels like we have turned a corner.”
Our elder care experts are helping older adults with Alzheimer’s every day, and we excitedly anticipate a day when the disease is defeated. Until then, we are here for your needs with personalized, creative care in order to make life the best it can be for seniors with dementia.
It’s 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 – just as much or as little as you would like. We are skilled in effective management of many difficult signs and symptoms of the disease, including wandering, agitation, aggression, sundowning, and many more.