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Tested so far on mice, Dr. Eitan Okun’s vaccine targets amyloid beta protein, which clusters in the brains of people affected by the deadly disease

Israeli scientist working on Alzheimer’s vaccine


By —— Bio and Archives--April 17, 2018

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Israeli scientist working on Alzheimer’s vaccine
Alzheimer’s disease, affecting some 47 million people worldwide, for now remains an irreversible and fatal brain disorder. Taking a proactive approach, an Israeli brain researcher is developing a vaccine against this devastating disease.

Most vaccines work by mounting an immune response toward a weakened pathogen to boost the immune system’s ability to fight the real pathogen. Prof. Eitan Okun’s vaccine primes the body to attack amyloid beta protein accumulations in the brain, one of the signature signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Experiments on mice in Okun’s Paul E. Feder Alzheimer’s Research Lab at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan reportedly have shown great promise.

He is now preparing to design human trials on people at known risk of developing the disease in their 50s or younger: those genetically inclined toward Alzheimer’s and people with Down syndrome.

“These critical trials will determine whether the vaccine actually works in humans,” said Okun, who also is investigating why people with Down syndrome are more apt to develop Alzheimer’s. The mice he used in his experiments were engineered to mimic Down syndrome.

“Depending on the success rate and side effects from [human] testing, we will be able to know how much more time is needed to make the vaccine available on a global scale. I am convinced that a vaccination approach is the way to go with neurodegenerative diseases,” said Okun.—More…


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