BOSTON, Mass. -- Five million Americans are suffering with Alzheimer's Disease and that number is expected to grow. There's been a huge push to develop a drug tat can slow down the disease, and now researchers near Boston believe they've found an answer.
Alzheimer's is affecting Walter Hartel's tempo. The 67-year-old was diagnosed four years ago with the disease, which limits his ability to get around alone and with his wife.
"We traveled all around the world and I can't
imagine doing that now," said Walter's wife, Karen Barry. "Our world has become very small."
Now researchers in Boston are hopeful they can help patients like Walter with a new drug, called Dimebon.
Dr. Michael Biber, Neurocare Center for Research said, "We're doing just as well, the average patient, in terms of their thinking, 18 months after they started the trial. in other words, there was no progression during that time."
Dimebon was developed in Russia in the 1980s to treat stuff noses. Doctors there soon discovered it had an effect on memory, which lead to more testing.
The initial studies were so promising it is now undergoing a last round of trials in Boston.
Dimebon is also easier for patients to take than other drugs currently being tested, most of which involve injections.
"It's a pill, that people take. and that's very unique amongst
the drugs that are now the leading contenders for treatment for Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Biber.
Dimebon still faces the FDA when testing is finally finished, but with positive results so far, doctors and drug companies are confident it will be approved and patients like Walter will benefit.
Mallika Marshal, CBS News Boston.
The Neurocare Center for Research is still looking for participants for their study on Dimebon.
To qualify, people must be between age 55 and 85 and have mild to moderate Alzheimer's. For more information click on the link below.