Japanese scientists may be on the cusp of an important breakthrough – the creation of a vaccine that could slow or delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, writes Gizmodo.

In particular, scientists from Juntendo University are working on its creation. The goal of the vaccine is to teach the immune system to go after certain cells that are no longer dividing. These cells are not necessarily harmful – some of them play an important role in wound healing and other important functions. But they can also be associated with various age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

The vaccine affects aging cells that produce high levels of a so-called glycoprotein. According to other studies, the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease tend to have these cells.

The vaccine has already been tested on mice, and the test results can be considered positive. The mice had reduced inflammation and other important biomarkers in the brain, as well as improved consciousness.

The study has not yet been peer-reviewed, so it should be viewed with caution. At the same time, the vaccine appears to meet important criteria that have so far been elusive.

“Earlier studies using different vaccines to treat Alzheimer’s disease in mouse models have been successful in reducing amyloid plaque deposits and inflammatory factors, however, what makes our study different is that our SAGP vaccine also altered the behavior of these mice for the better,” said lead author Chieh-Lun Hsiao, a post-doctoral fellow in the department of cardiovascular biology and medicine at Juntendo University.

It was reported earlier that a gene mutation protected a man n who would have developed Alzheimer’s disease in his 40s. Researchers have found that the patient was protected because another mutation in another gene blocked the disease from entering the entorhinal cortex of the brain.