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An Alzheimer’s Researcher Ends Up on the Drug She Helped Invent

June 27, 2012


Given her relatively young age, Dr. Rae Lyn Burke didn’t think much about her family history of Alzheimer’s disease — a grandmother and an aunt had suffered from it, but they were much older. Ironically, Burke was just in her late 50s when she started having her own symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s. Even more ironic is that Burke had been one of the key developers of the Alzheimer’s drug bapineuzumab, which she now takes herself to reduce the progression of the disease in her own brain.

“My expertise was in vaccine development,” says Burke, “so when Elan Pharmaceuticals got surprising evidence that a vaccine approach might be of value in treating Alzheimer’s disease they recruited me as a consultant, since this was a new area for them. My particular role was to ask how adjuvants might potentiate the immune response.” In other words, Burke figured out what compounds could be added to bapineuzumab, an antibody vaccine, that might help kick the recipient’s immune system into higher gear.

Excerpt of an article written by Alice G. Walton, The Atlantic. Continue HERE

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