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New hope for Alzheimer's treatment

New hope for Alzheimer's treatment
20th March 2009

There is renewed hope of finding a drug to treat Alzheimer's disease as scientists say they are closer than ever to a discovery.

Some 11 drugs are in final clinical trial stages and initial tests are being carried out on 80 more.

They target the pathways that drive the progression of the neurodegenerative disease and are different from current treatments which cannot prevent Alzheimer's from destroying the brain.

"In the next five or ten years there is a good chance of having treatments that slow down the rate of progression of Alzheimer's disease," comments Professor Simon Lovestone from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London.

But he also warns that if these drugs do not work, we will be heading for "the most unmitigated disaster".

According to the Alzheimer's Society, 700,000 people currently have dementia in the UK and this figure will rise to more than a million by 2025.

One-third of dementia sufferers live in a care home.

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