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Revised Rules Aim to Speed New Alzheimer''s Drugs

July 13, 2011
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According to the Associated Press, the government is making it easier to test new Alzheimer''s drugs, hoping to speed progress toward new treatments for the mind-robbing disease. One of every eight people 65 or older has Alzheimer''s, the most common form of dementia. Current drugs only ease symptoms temporarily and don''t slow its advance. Many drugs have flopped in late-stage testing in recent years, including some that seemed to clear harmful plaque from addled brains. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration put restrictions on who could be in experiments targeting this plaque. The agency said participants had to drop out if they developed signs of bleeding in the brain. A panel of industry, nonprofit and academic researchers thought that would choke off promising research. They gathered evidence that such bleeding and other abnormalities seen on brain scans were fairly common and might even be a sign that a drug is working as intended.

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