Breakthrough in Alzheimer's Research Could Stop Progression of Disease

By: CBS News Email
By: CBS News Email

A possible breakthrough in the battle against Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers say they've developed a vaccine-like drug that could stop progression of the disease.

At the Alzheimer's Association 24 hour help-line, volunteers are busy answering questions about the disease.

More than 5-million Americans are living with Alzheimer's; now there may be some new hope.

"Ohio State University is part of a national coalition of universities that are testing a new drug, which may prove able to change the course of the disease of Alzheimer's disease," says Dr. Debra Cherry, Executive Vice President of the Alzheimer's Association.

The drug works like a vaccine given every three months or so.

It's in the final stage of human testing.

Dr. Debra Cherry is the executive vice president of the Alzheimer's Association.

"What this vaccine does is it enters the brain and it picks up the plaques and cleans them from the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease," says Dr. Cherry. "What we maybe able to do is stop the progression of the disease in those who are already effected, and perhaps if we find people early enough, prevent them from developing the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease."

Hundreds of patients will be given the drug through an IV.

If it's successful, the next step will be FDA approval.

"We may, with a medication like the one being tested here, we may be able to stop the disease, reverse the symptoms, for people for the first time," says Dr. Cherry.

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