Research into a vaccine for protection against Alzheimer's disease is to be resumed and researchers from Southampton University will be reassessing 80 participants of the initial trial.
The progress of the disease was supposed to be reversed by the vaccine by clearing the beta amyloid protein causing the disease. But during the second phase of the trial, 6% of the patients showed signs of brain inflammation and the study was brought to a halt for safety reasons.
The vaccine has been named AN-1792, and it consists of a synthetic beta amyloid protein which acts by stimulation of the immune response. It had successfully cleared the protein from the brain during the first trial.
He said that though it was seen that vaccination did reverse the progress of the disease somewhat, more research was needed to come to a full understanding of the processes and come up with something beneficial to the sufferers.
Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust was of the opinion that a vaccine was a realistic prospect as Alzheimer's is a disease and not a normal part of old age.
Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said that the fact that there are 25 million people worldwide with Alzheimer's disease and 100,000 people diagnosed in the UK each year, highlights the urgent need to develop new ways of overcoming dementia.
He felt that immunization was going to be an exciting option against the disease and the UK funding for the research will be a vital contribution to the international efforts to develop a vaccine.