Are scientists closing in on vaccines for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s?

Protecting against conditions that appear in older generations is increasingly becoming a focus of the medical industry. In this article, Dr Andrea Pfeifer, CEO and Director of AC Immune, discusses the current landscape of vaccine development for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and certain related neurodegenerative diseases are a silent pandemic that is spreading in lockstep with the ageing of our global population. Neurodegeneration occurs when nerve cells in the brain or elsewhere in the nervous system lose function and die. Between 2000 and 2019, while deaths from stroke, heart disease and HIV decreased, deaths from AD increased by over 145 percent. In the US, total payments for health care, long-term care and hospice services for people aged 65 and older with dementia were estimated to cost $355 billion in 2021 and unpaid dementia caregiving was valued at $256.7 billion in 2020.1,2 The rising incidence of neurodegenerative diseases presents us with a moral and economic situation that must urgently be addressed.