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Experimental Drug May Hold Key to Alzheimer's Prevention

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(WASHINGTON) -- Alzheimer's: a form of dementia with no known cure. But can it be prevented? That's what a new study will attempt to find out.

 

The National Institutes of Health is sponsoring a large-scale clinical trial to find out if an experimental drug can be used to prevent Alzheimer's -- a disease that robs a person's memory and becomes more debilitating as it progresses.

 

The drug is called Solanezumab, and it's designed to rid the brain of plaques and a certain protein associated with Alzheimer's.

 

Researchers will enroll older individuals for the study who have evidence of that protein marker in their brains, but do not yet show clinical symptoms of the disease.

    

Doctors are encouraged by results this drug produced in other phases of the trials. They hope to show that by starting treatment in high-risk individuals before any symptoms are present, and by treating them for longer periods of time, loss of memory will be slowed down and ultimately prevent development of Alzheimer's disease.

Results of the three-year study could lead to a successful treatment of this looming public health crisis.   

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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