Avoiding Alzheimer's - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Avoiding Alzheimer's

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It's a disease that robs you of your mind and destroys your body. Now a groundbreaking study to prevent Alzheimer's Disease is taking place here in South Florida. 7's Christine Cruz shows us how people may soon be avoiding alzheimer's.

WSVN -- The Rivero family came here from Cuba in search of a better life. Dad was a successful architect.

Dulcita Bare: "My dad was always very meticulous."

Then Dulcita and her siblings started to notice a change. Her dad became distant and seemed confused. The diagnosis, Alzheimer's Disease.

Dulcita Bare: "He was basically a vegetable by the very end. It's amazing just how the body totally deteriorates."

Then she noticed her mother was becoming forgetful.

Dulcita Bare: "She was forgetting her medications, getting lost, repeating things over and over again."

Her mom was also diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Now in a nursing home she can't walk, dress or feed herself.

Dr. Po-Heng Tsai: "Alzheimer's Disease is a neuro-degenerative disease meaning that it's a slow, progressive, deterioration of the brain."

But for the first time, there is hope for this disease.

Dr. Po-Heng Tsai: "I am very excited that we are about to start a clinical trial for prevention of Alzheimer's Disease."

The Cleveland Clinic Florida has announced a first of its kind study. It's called the Tomorrow Trial.

Researchers are testing a diabetes drug to prevent Alzheimer's Disease. It's called Actos and is currently used to treat people with Type-2 Diabetes.

Dr. Po-Heng Tsai: "We believe this medication can help the brain to use glucose and produce more energy effectively."

The brains of Alzheimer's patients can't process glucose, causing plaques to form that lead to the death of brain cells. Researchers believe the diabetes drug could have a protective effect on the brain by regulating glucose.

Dr. Po-Heng Tsai: "It makes the brain able to use the glucose as a source of energy."

The double-blind study will enroll people who have no signs of cognitive impairment.

Dr. Po-Heng Tsai: "So we are looking for people who are relatively healthy between the age of 65 and 83."

Each person will take a baseline cognitive test.

Dr. Po-Heng Tsai: "Every six months when they come back we'll perform the test again to see if there has been a decline in their memory or cognition."

Dulcita is too young to enroll but says it could help others avoid this mind robbing disease. She feels the worst part is that her kids won't remember the loving grandmother they once had.

Dulcita Bare: "The one that used to pick them up from school, make them breakfast, they're going to remember her as she is now."

In the plex, Christine Cruz, 7News.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Cleveland Clinic Florida:
Tommorrow Trial
Tel: (954) 659-6428
or (844) ALZ-TRIAL
www.clevelandclinicflorida.org

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