New Hope for Alzheimer's

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BOSTON: A new study shows for the first time that the progress of Alzheimer's can be slowed by two common drugs. Vitamin E and Selegiline, a drug used to treat Parkinson's disease, both slowed the rate the disease advanced by an average of seven months, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine. While a cure remains beyond reach, slowing the disease by even a few months could have a huge economic impact, while also delaying the point where patients can no longer enjoy their lives or take care of themselves. The U.S. spends $100 billion caring for more than 4 million Alzheimer's patients, much of it for the 24-hour housing and care needed by patients at advanced stages. Next, researchers say they will investigate whether taking the drugs earlier or before the disease starts might add more productive months -- or even prevent the disease altogether.