Sciencedaily.com recently post this article about the development of an Alzheimer’s antibody. According to Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Peter Tessier and his colleagues at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and with funding from the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Pew Charitable Trust, a new method for designing antibodies in a “surprisingly simple” way has produced some promising results.
Using antibodies to attack and eliminate offending proteins, like APoE4, is nothing new and the buzz around this type of treatment did not appear without promising initial results. However, upon further trials, some of the early attempts have resulted in only “okay” results often due to dangerous side effects like brain swelling.
So whats the big deal? Well, it seems that the ability to easily design antibodies is the breakthrough here. Easier methods for designing antibodies may mean more designs, and more deigns may mean that researchers will be able to eventually create more targeted antibodies. In the case of the “Rensselaer” study, the most promising antibody developed using the new method only attacks the toxic, sticky “Alzheimer’s protein” rather than the building blocks of the Alzheimer’s protein.
Read the original Sciencedaily.com article by clicking below and check out the other links below for a bit of background on antibody treatment for Alzheimer’s:
- NPR Radio Broadcast – All Things Considered
April 12, 2005 — A small study being presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Miami suggests that treating Alzheimer’s patients with a type of antibody may halt or even reverse progress of the degenerative disease.
- Wall Street Journal Health Blog – Shirley S. Wang
June 17, 2008 — Mixed Results for Experimental Alzheimer’s Antibody
- Alzheimer’s Vaccine Triggers Brain Inflammation When Brain Amyloid Burden Is High
November 15, 2011 — (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Researchers look to immune therapy to treat Alzheimer’s
December. 11, 2011 — (theglobeandmail.com)