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Alzheimer's Vaccine Tested on Humans

80 patients involved in secret British test

A vaccine to combat Alzheimer's disease that showed promise in lab mice has been given to human patients for the first time, according to this story from The Times of London.

The story says 80 British Alzheimer's patients are part of the first attempt to try treatments other than drugs to slow the progressive brain disease. The hopsitals involved in the trial are being kept secret for fear that people will rush in to ask for the vaccine.

The vaccine is intended to rally the body's own defenses to prevent the formation of plaques, which are masses found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Stopping plaques is considered key to fighting the disease.

In the study, each patient has been given four shots over six months. The patients are being monitored to see whether their bodies form antibodies to fight the plaques, the story says.

Even if the trial shows promise, longer trials lasting several years would be required before the treatment would be available to the public, The Times says.

To learn more about Alzheimer's disease, the Alzheimer's Association of Southeastern Wisconsin has plenty of information.

For more on the vaccine and its use on lab mice, visit About.com.

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