A unique vaccine has been created that can prevent the development of type 1 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease
An important breakthrough has been made in the field of medicine: scientists from the University of Chicago have developed an "inverse vaccine" that can prevent the development of autoimmune diseases. We are talking about type 1 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
The vaccine does not suppress the immune system, but only erases the harmful memory of specific molecules, stopping the autoimmune response to attack healthy tissues. The details were provided by SciTechDaily.
What is an inverse vaccine?
Scientists from Pritzker Molecular Engineering are working under the leadership of Professor Jeffrey Hubbell. They have shown how the compound can eliminate the autoimmune response associated with multiple sclerosis. The forecasts are quite optimistic - the results of laboratory tests have shown that the vaccine can completely prevent the development of autoimmune diseases.
The uniqueness of the development lies in the fact that typical vaccines "teach" the immune system to recognize the virus as an enemy that should be attacked. The "inverse vaccine" does the opposite - it completely eliminates the immune system's memory of a single molecule.
This kind of memory erasure is undesirable for infectious diseases, but it can actually stop autoimmune reactions seen in multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or Crohn's disease - when the immune system attacks healthy human tissue.
How the vaccine works
T cells of the immune system recognize unwanted cells and molecules as foreign to the body and get rid of them. When launching these "attacks", T cells store the memory of the invader in order to destroy it faster in the future.
But there are cases when T cells make a mistake and recognize healthy cells as foreign. For example, in people with Crohn's disease, the immune system attacks cells in the small intestine.
In the new study, the researchers focused on multiple sclerosis, a disease in which the immune system attacks myelin, leading to weakness and numbness, vision loss, and eventually mobility problems and paralysis. The team linked myelin proteins to pGal and tested the effect of the new inverse vaccine. The results were impressive - the immune system stopped attacking myelin, allowing the nerves to function properly again and eliminating the symptoms of the disease in the animals.
Modern medicine offers to treat autoimmune diseases with drugs that suppress the immune system.
"These treatments can be quite effective. But at the same time, you block the immune reactions necessary to fight infections, which is why you get side effects. The inverse vaccine works with almost no side effects," said Prof. Hubbell.
Scientists are currently conducting additional work to study pGal compounds. The first trials have already been successfully conducted on people with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease of the small intestine.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL reported that people who go to bed late have an increased risk of diabetes.