Sweden to test new Alzheimer’s vaccine

A new vaccine against Alzheimer's disease will be tested on 60 Swedish patients at initial or moderate stages of degenerative neurological dementia, Swedish media reported on Sunday.

The CAD 106 vaccine is to “activate the immune system for it to produce antibodies” against the protein which forms the platelets believed to block nervous cell signals in the brain, daily Dagens Nyheter reported.

The platelets, created by amyloid beta protein, are thought to be the cause of the irreversible disease. One fifth of the 60 patients will be given a placebo treatment during the one-year trial carried out at a hospital in Stockholm and one in the southern Swedish city of Malmö.

The vaccine was tested on mice and the “platelets had nearly disappeared after 12 weeks of treatment,” said the newspaper.

The daily reported that a first vaccine trial carried out in the United States and in France in 2000 had to be stopped because of the side effects it caused in the patients. Some patients suffered from inflammations, including inflammations of the brain.

But Bengt Winblad, the professor in charge of the trial, said the CAD 106 vaccine was more specific and should succeed in activating the antibodies without stimulating immune systems cells which caused the inflammations.

Alzheimer’s affects an estimated 10 million people worldwide, usually after the age of 65. Some 120,000 Swedes suffer from the degenerative brain disease which causes dementia. (AFP)