Alzheimer’s: The Race to the Cure [video]

Video author: Health Medical Publications Group
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Video Transcript

Alzheimer's: The Race to the Cure

Alzheimer's scientists are racing to find a way to prevent or treat the disease before it steals another generation, and they may be getting close. They know they have to improve on the current drugs which do help with some symptoms but don't actually stop the disease. They think the best hope is to try to stop the formation of the Alzheimer plaques. These plaques are composed of sticky protein fragments called beta-amyloid formed by accident when a natural brain protein called APP somehow doesn't dissolve in quite the right way.

Think of APP proteins as glass bottles that need to be recycled after each use, but something goes terribly wrong. Just before they get melted down the bottles are broken into sharp and sticky pieces, beta-amyloid fragments, which then form into plaques.

Many scientists think that if they can interrupt that process or clear away the beta-amyloid, Alzheimer's disease will become a thing of the past. There are several possible ways to achieve this, and already a number of drugs are being tested for safety and effectiveness. They're also testing other common drugs to see if they might help with Alzheimer's.

The problem is that all of these drug trials are extremely time consuming and expensive. Because Alzheimer's develops so slowly, it takes a long time to see if a new drug is doing any good. You may be able to help.

For information on how to get involved in drug trials go to www.aboutalz.org or call 1-800-438-4380.

Thank you.

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