Dementia research news spring 16 in brief

From the spring 2016 edition of Care and cure magazine, here's the research news in brief.

A new clinical trial is underway to test a vaccine that targets tau protein in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Tau protein is one the main hallmarks of the disease and is toxic to brain cells. The clinical trial will look at whether the vaccine is safe for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers hope that it could potentially slow or halt the progression of the condition.

A cancer drug that activates the body’s immune cells against tumours improves symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. The drug targets a protein called PD-1, which suppresses immune cells. After two months, the mice showed improved learning and memory, and had fewer amyloid plaques in their brains.

Researchers have claimed to be able to detect dementia two years before symptoms appear by using pictures of mountains. The test involves showing someone a landscape and asking them to pick out the picture of the mountain range, taken from a different angle, from three other images of various landscapes.

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