Alzheimer's Drug Provides Hope

There are an estimated four million people suffering from There are an estimated four million people suffering from Alzheimer's in the United States.

So it is no surprise that many drug companies are trying to find new treatments for the devastating disease.

Betty Lewis is the face of Alzheimer's, but she is not the only one in the family who has it. "We have Alzheimer's, mom doesn't have Alzheimer's. We do. Because she thinks she is just fine," says daughter, Karen.

Karen galley cares for her 77-year-old mother Betty.

They come to the Sacramento memory walk every year.

This is a good day, but there is no doubt, Alzheimer's has taken its toll. "As far as her going on vacation for any length of time, we don't do that anymore," Karen explains.

But a new drug could be the answer for Betty and millions of Alzheimer's patients like her.

Its called Huperzine-A. "It is very safe, it has a long history of being used in china where it was discovered," Alzheimer’s Specialist Dr. Charles Decarli says.

He is conducting a clinical trial of Huperzine-A through UC Davis' Alzheimer's Center.

He said some patients tolerate the natural herb better than other Alzheimer's drugs and patients are seeing progress. "It made her want to get up out of the chair,” Karen explains. “It made her want to go out to the pool and swim laps. It made her want to go out and prune her flowers."

Another benefit Betty's family has seen: she has lost 50 pounds because she has been more active.

Decarli said this is just one example of clinical trials in action. "Every new medication needs to be studied carefully, to see if it is effective, does what it's supposed to do, that it's safe."

in the United States.

So it is no surprise that many drug companies are trying to find new treatments for the devastating disease.

Betty Lewis is the face of Alzheimer's, but she is not the only one in the family who has it. "We have Alzheimer's, mom doesn't have Alzheimer's. We do. Because she thinks she is just fine," says daughter, Karen.

Karen galley cares for her 77-year-old mother Betty.

They come to the Sacramento memory walk every year.

This is a good day, but there is no doubt, Alzheimer's has taken its toll. "As far as her going on vacation for any length of time, we don't do that anymore," Karen explains.

But a new drug could be the answer for Betty and millions of Alzheimer's patients like her.

Its called Huperzine-A. "It is very safe, it has a long history of being used in china where it was discovered," Alzheimer’s Specialist Dr. Charles Decarli says.

He is conducting a clinical trial of Huperzine-A through UC Davis' Alzheimer's Center.

He said some patients tolerate the natural herb better than other Alzheimer's drugs and patients are seeing progress. "It made her want to get up out of the chair,” Karen explains. “It made her want to go out to the pool and swim laps. It made her want to go out and prune her flowers."

Another benefit Betty's family has seen: she has lost 50 pounds because she has been more active.

Decarli said this is just one example of clinical trials in action. "Every new medication needs to be studied carefully, to see if it is effective, does what it's supposed to do, that it's safe."


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