Promising Treatments Coming For Alzheimer's Disease

TAMPA -

A skin patch containing the drug Exelon may get approval from federal regulators by the end of the year. It's one of the most promising treatment for Alzheimer's, which currently affects nearly five million Americans.

In Tampa, a different kind of treatment is being devised at the Johnnie Byrd Alzheimer's Center. Dr. Huntington Potter is its CEO and research director.

POTTER: The best approach is to first try the drugs in mice that have Alzheimer's Disease, and see if they get better. We have such a drug, called Rolipram - it's actually an old drug developed for depression. But it essentially cures the memory problems of the Alzheimer's Disease in the mice.

Potter says Rolipram has been tried in humans, but has been found to cause nausea. He says the instutite paroposed several months ago to put the drug into a skin patch. It would be easier to take, and could last longer, which would be beneficial to Alzheimer's patients who sometimes forget to take their medication.

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