The path to finding a treatment for Parkinson’s may be in the near future, according to the studies of Austrian biotech company AFFiRiS AG. Their phase one safety study of a new vaccine proved to be effective at not only fighting Parkinson’s, but possibly stopping its progression. As a leading provider of Parkinson’s care in South Metro Denver, we’re always looking to share the latest information about the disease and treatment options. Today, we’re going to look into this new vaccine and what it could mean for the future of Parkinson’s patients.
How Does the Vaccine Work?
The new vaccine works by mimicking alpha-synuclein, a known cause of Parkinson’s. While there are many things which remain unknown about alpha-synuclein, scientists are aware of its main function. Alpha-synuclein is a sticky protein in the brain which clumps together and causes the death and degeneration of brain cells. The study showed that when a patient is injected with the vaccine being tested, their immune system is able to create antibodies to fight back, targeting these toxic protein clumps and destroying them. In essence, a patient’s own immune system is being used to fight one of the known causes of Parkinson’s.
What Were the Results of the Study?
32 patients were involved in the phase one study. Two different doses were tested and monitored, one which was provided with the vaccine and one which was a control group which was given salt water. According to Dr. AchimSchneeberger, the Chief Medical Officer at AFFiRiS, “a little bit more than half of the patients” who received the therapeutic vaccine not only generated antibodies to fight the disease, but also stabilized their symptoms.
What Does this Mean for the Future or Parkinson’s Disease?
The treatment, now proven successful in slowing the progression of the disease, needs further testing to determine a safe and effective dosage level. Although it may be another six to eight years before clinical testing is completed and the therapeutic vaccine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, there is hope is on the horizon for the more than five million people worldwide who suffer from Parkinson’s.
If you have an aging parent or loved one who is living with Parkinson’s, finding the right support for them as they go through each stage of the disease is of the utmost importance. Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of Parkinson’s care and is here to help. Offering flexible Centennial hourly care and live-in care with no long-term contracts, our caregivers can assist with a variety of activities of daily living and personal care to promote independence and quality of life.
To request free information or a complimentary in-home consultation, contact a Care Manager today at 303-957-3100.