New Alzheimer's drug studies offer patients hope

AP News
Posted: Dec 03, 2012 6:31 AM

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — For Alzheimer's patients desperate for an effective treatment, several new studies starting up offer hope.

After dozens of promising experimental drugs failed, scientists think they're now on the right track, targeting the mechanisms to arrest the epidemic, mind-robbing disease.

Dr. William H. Thies, the Alzheimer's Association's top scientist, says if the new studies succeed, a medicine that slows or even stops progression of Alzheimer's might be ready in three to five years. That's only if tens of millions of dollars more are found for research and more patients join clinical studies.

Drugmakers including Merck & Co., Eli Lilly and Co. and the Roche Group are working on drugs that use different mechanisms to limit accumulation in the brain of the amyloid plaques considered the most likely cause of Alzheimer's.