Alzheimer's Disease

July 24, 1992 • Volume 2, Issue 27
Are researchers close to finding an effective treatment?
By Richard L. Worsnop

Introduction

Alzheimer's disease ranks high on the list of elderly people's deepest fears. Unpreventable anduntreatable, the disorder gradually destroys thebrain's ability to remember, reason or even recognize familiar places and faces. Family members, meanwhile, can only look on helplessly as they grapple with the grueling, round-the-clock job of caring for an Alzheimer's victim. To make matters worse, very little public assistance is now available for Alzheimer's patients or caregivers. Researchers nonetheless are confident that an effective treatment for Alzheimer's will be found before the end of the decade. Some even predict a cure. Government health officials hope they are right, because people over 65 -- the individuals most vulnerable to Alzheimer's -- constitute the nation's fastest-growing age group.

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