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The hope for future treatment of Alzheimer's disease

This is Science Today. There are few drugs out there to treat Alzheimer's disease and those that are being used are for patients whose symptoms are more progressed. Susan Landau, a research scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, recently led a study that found early markers of Alzheimer's disease, and says that the hope in the research field is to develop drugs that work earlier on in the disease.

Landau:          It's reasonably promising and what our area of research is in is, once there's a drug out there that is safe and looks promising, we want to target the right population to give that drug to.

Narrator:        Landau and her colleagues discovered that patients with mild cognitive impairment who had low glucose metabolism in certain regions of the brain, were fifteen times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease within a two-year period.

Landau:          So, the ideal would be to determine which tests will predict future decline and then potentially target those people for participation in clinical trials of therapeutic drugs.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.