Previous studies utilizing immunization against Abeta, a key pathogenic player in AD, to generate antibodies against Abeta were discontinued because of unacceptable side effects in AD patients.
Here, the researchers use a specific nasal vaccination to decrease AD burden in mice. The vaccine consists of an FDA-approved drug currently used to treat multiple sclerosis (called glatiramer acetate) plus a recently developed nasal adjuvant that has been shown to be safe in humans and activates microglia, cells which then clear beta-amyloid in the brain without evidence of toxic effects.
The findings have both basic and clinically relevant implications. The discovery of a non-antibody mediated method to clear Abeta could be used as a treatment for patients who already are showing signs of AD. Moreover, the compounds used have already been safely tested in humans.