Will Vaccine Accelerate Neurodegenerative Disease?
People with neurodegenerative disease are part of a living experiment when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccines, especially the mRNA biotechnology. Some critics suggest that the coronavirus vaccine has the potential to cause prion disease. An equally important question is what will the vaccine do to those who already have prion disease, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
The messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, for example, produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna is based on protein science, which is one of the great frontiers of modern medicine. Unfortunately, many neurodegenerative diseases also involve protein science. Will this protein-oriented vaccine impact protein-based diseases?
mRNA vaccines represent a promising alternative to conventional vaccine approaches because of their high potency, capacity for rapid development and potential for low-cost manufacture and safe administration. However, their application has until recently been restricted by the instability and inefficient in vivo (in body) delivery of mRNA. Recent technological advances have now largely overcome these issues, and multiple mRNA vaccines have demonstrated encouraging results in animals and humans.
In theory, the newly formed antibodies are protein components of an adaptive immune system whose main function is to bind antigens (COVID), or foreign substances in the body, and target them for destruction.
Unfortunately, proteins play a key role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.
The new mRNA vaccines developed to combat the coronavirus promote protein synthesis within the human body. Protein synthesis? How can we be sure that the mRNA treatment will trigger beneficial proteins and not deadly ones?
A variety of factors can trigger neurodegenerative disease, including genetics, head trauma and prions.
Prions are infectious, deadly proteins that consume the brain. Prion disease is clinically known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). As the name suggests, TSEs are transmissible.
Prions (PREE-ons) are a form of protein that migrates, mutates, multiplies and kills with unparalleled efficiency. Prions cause fatal neurodegenerative disease in mammals by converting the cellular version of prion protein into a toxic form that consumes the brain and body. Prion disease often is described as a wasting disease that causes a loss of body mass and brain mass.
How will these synthetic proteins impact those fighting neurodegenerative disease? Unfortunately, no one knows the answer to that question, yet.
Read the full story about prion disease and protein-based vaccines.