There are some four and a half million people struggling with Alzheimer's disease in this country, and millions more trying to care for them. Since it was first described more than 100 years ago, there has been no cure for Alzheimer's Disease. As we begin a new year, a vaccine-like treatment may make a difference
Sara Kret has struggled with her memory, since she was first told years ago that she had Alzheimer's disease.
"I was more feeling sorry for myself, and trying to figure out, how am I going to come out of this? That was the worst part," Kret said.
U.S. & World
Sara takes two drugs a day, but as her husband Ron Kret admits, neither one offers a cure.
Researchers at the Ohio State University Medical Center are testing a new drug that works differently, kind of like a vaccine.
Given every 13 weeks through an IV, its job is to find and dissolve plaques that build up in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
"It goes into the brain, and it's designed to attach to the plaques to sort of chew it up and get it out of the body, just like your immune system would remove infections, or things that don't belong," Dr. Douglas Scharre said.
After success in the lab, the drug is now in large-scale tests in humans, where doctors are hoping it will someday make Alzheimer's just a memory.
Doctors will test the drug in hundreds of patients over the next year and a half. This is the final stage of testing. If it shows signs of working, it would go to the FDA for approval.
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