Eureka! This New Vaccine Can Now Prevent Heart Diseases Medical
The vaccine, known as AT04A, triggers the production of antibodies that target an enzyme involved in regulating levels of blood cholesterol which is responsible for cardiovascular diseases.
According to the world heart federation, raised blood cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Globally, one-third of ischaemic heart disease is attributable to high cholesterol. Overall, raised cholesterol is estimated to cause 2.6 million deaths (4.5 percent of total) and 29.7 million people got affected by it, or 2 per cent of total DAYS globally.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance present in many body tissues. It’s an essential nutrient for healthy cell membranes as well as the synthesis of Vitamin D and some healthy hormones. It’s made in the liver from digestive fats and is carried in the blood. Blood cholesterol level is affected by the diet. High levels of cholesterol in the blood is associated with hardened arteries, heart attack and stroke.
Curbing the tide of heart diseases and other cardiovascular conditions is not at all easy. A combination of genetics and lifestyle two things which range from the “impossible” to the “extremely difficult” to change, largely leave an impact on these conditions. But what if a vaccine could actually prevent one of the biggest contributors to heart disease, that is high levels of bad LDL cholesterol?
There are many approaches to preventing diseases. Among them, the use of effective vaccines is popular, effective and desirable. Vaccination is the administration of antigenic material to induce an individual’s immune system to develop antibodies to a pathogen. It is a time-tested technique a and long-lasting method to prevent infectious diseases.
According to a study published in European Heart Journal, A cholesterol-lowering vaccine could theoretically provide a more effective and reliable alternative to statins. Statins since a very long time have remained the gold standard of cholesterol-lowering therapy. This class of drugs helps to lower LDL cholesterol by inhibiting a cholesterol-producing enzyme in the liver called HMG-CoA reductase. But they are not without risks, with side effects including muscle pain and liver damage.
The vaccine, known as AT04A, triggers the production of antibodies that target an enzyme involved in regulating levels of blood cholesterol. The enzyme, PCSK9, has been shown to impede the clearance of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Essentially, it is an immunotherapy treatment. Unlike a conventional vaccine that targets foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses, AT04A marshals the immune system to attack one of the body’s own proteins.
The AT04A vaccine, when injected into fat mice with high cholesterol and atherosclerosis, reduced the total amount of cholesterol by 53%, shrank atherosclerotic damage to blood vessels by 64%, and reduced biological markers of blood vessel inflammation by 21-28%, compared to unvaccinated mice. There was also a reduction reported in fatty deposits in arteries and arterial wall inflammation. Furthermore, the induced antibodies remained functional over the whole study period and concentrations were still high at the end of the study. Their response to lipid-lowering and high-density lipoprotein increasing interventions is similar to that of humans.
Dr Gunther Staffler, chief technology officer at AFFiRis (the company that developed AT04A) and one of the authors of the study, said “The reduction in total cholesterol levels was significantly correlated with induced antibody concentration, proving that induced antibodies caused the reduction in cholesterol and also are ultimately responsible for the reduction of atherosclerosis development. As antibody concentrations remained high at the end of the study, it can be assumed they would continue to reduce cholesterol levels for some time afterwards, resulting in a long-lasting effect, as has been shown in previous studies.”
Based on the success of AT04A in mouse studies, a phase I clinical trial of the vaccine began in 2015, which involves 72 healthy adults. The trial is due to be complete by the end of this year.
“If these findings translate successfully into humans, this could mean that, as the induced antibodies persist for months after a vaccination, we could develop a long-lasting therapy that, after the first vaccination, just needs an annual booster. This would result in an effective and more convenient treatment for patients, as well as higher patient compliance,” added Gunther.
Courtesy: By http://doctor.ndtv.com, Source link