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Drug Study Underway on Healthy at-risk seniors to Protect or Slow Mental Decline

alzheimersA major $140 million study (funded by the National Institute of Health, drug manufacturer Eli Lilly & Co and others) began on June 9, 2014 whereby scientists will scan the brains of healthy seniors who presently have no memory problems to learn if those with an excessive amount of the protein called beta-amyloid (which often develops into brain plaques that are often found in those with Alzheimer’s Disease) can be helped by an experimental drug which could possibly protect or slow down mental decline. The goal is to see if early intervention (before any diagnosis) can help those who have enough of beta-amyloid to qualify for the research (and if successful, helping others with early prevention or at least slowing down the mental decline). The volunteers would receive an anti-amyloid experimental drug (called solanezumab) or a fake drug. Previously solanezumab failed to help those with full-blown Alzheimer’s although it did seem to help slow mental decline in patients with mild disease. The study will track the volunteers’ memory and amyloid levels change over three years.

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