An integrated vaccination approach to neurodegeneration
Guided by precise biomarker tests, therapeutic vaccines targeting the pathology of neurodegenerative disease could provide solutions to the impending global crisis in dementia. As Dr Andrea Pfeifer, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director of AC Immune, describes here, current work is both establishing the targets that those vaccines must address and refining the techniques for addressing them.
The prevalence of dementia due to neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) is expected to rise as life expectancy increases across the global population.1 Around 50 million people worldwide are already affected by dementia, a figure that is expected to nearly triple by 2050.2 Approximately 20 percent of women and 10 percent of men will develop AD,3 while PD affects over six million people making it the second most common neurodegenerative condition. Progressive memory loss, language processing impairment and dementia lead to a loss of independence and incur high costs in family-based or institutional care.