January 7, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

alzheimer's brain concept art

If 2021 will be remembered as the year for COVID-19 vaccines, perhaps 2022 will be marked with a different kind of life-changing shot: a vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease that might actually slow or prevent the further advancement of the disease.

The very first human trial of Protollin, delivered through nasal spray, has begun in 16 seniors between the ages of 60 and 85 with early-stage Alzheimer’s symptoms. The desired outcome is to activate immune cells that will eliminate the beta-amyloid plaque thought to result in the disease.

Arriving on the heels of controversial results of Biogen’s Aduhelm, the first new approved drug for Alzheimer’s in decades, the stakes are high. Aduhelm is an antibody infusion that at first appeared to fail in its goal of improving memory and cognition functioning, leading Biogen to discontinue clinical trials. Yet several months later, there did seem to be a positive impact in a small number of participants, leading the FDA to approve its use – even if the outcomes aren’t definitively clear.

Finding a successful treatment or preventative option is extremely important. The most current data show approximately 6 million Americans currently clinically determined to have the disease. It’s also one of the top causes of death in adults in the U.S., with a sharp increase in mortality rate of 88% between 1999 and 2019. And that statistic may only be scratching the surface, since it represents only those clinically diagnosed. We know that those with cognitive impairment may struggle with receiving an appropriate diagnosis, and that they often are challenged by other health issues as well.

Scientists are hopeful that Protollin, along with Aduhelm and other antibody drugs undergoing study, are putting us on a promising path forward. Jeffrey Cummings, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas brain-science professor, goes so far as to state, “It just feels like we have turned a corner.”

Our senior care experts are helping older adults with Alzheimer’s each day, and we excitedly look forward to a point in the future when the disease is defeated. Until then, we’re here for you with creative, personalized care in order to make life the very best it can be for older adults with dementia.

It’s vitally important for loved ones caring for someone with dementia to safeguard their own health by ensuring ample time for self-care. Our dementia respite care team can help you set up a schedule for regular time away – as much or as little as you want. We’re skilled in effective management of many difficult signs of the disease, including wandering, aggression, agitation, sundowning, and others.

Contact us 24/7 at (315) 579-HOME (4663) for a free consultation to learn more.