Medical Minute: Fighting Alzheimer's

More than four million Americans live with Alzheimer's disease and millions more say their memory isn't what it used to be. Are you one of them?

Researchers from centers around the world are working to change that. There are four FDA approved drugs that treat Alzheimer's symptoms, but now doctors are beginning to test drugs that actually stop the disease itself.

Martin Farlow, MD Neurologist, said, "These agents are badly needed because we have nothing right now."

Neurologist Martin Farlow is part of a study to see if the drug Evista, used to treat osteoporosis and breast cancer, also works in Alzheimer's. Researchers from Rush University in Chicago are experimenting with a technique called gene transfer.

Zoe Arvanitakis, MD Neurologist, said, "We're going after something completely new and using a very novel method as well."

Surgeons inject the drug Cere 110 into the area of the brain that deteriorates early on in Alzheimer's.

Ron Shellady was the first patient in the world to receive it.

Ron said, "It's easier now not to forget; yes."

But if you're not ready to be part of experimental research, there are simpler things that can at least prevent or slow memory loss.

A recent study shows people who had 22 milligrams of niacin a day had an 80 percent lower risk of Alzheimer's than those who had half that much, and fish oil supplements can get rid of brain plaque, a marker of Alzheimer's, by almost half.

For more information, contact:

Daniel Aren
Chicago, IL
(312) 942-2811


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