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Delaying Dementia

Drugs that fail as cures might still prevent Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease extinguishes the mind and body through a vicious progression from mental lapses, memory loss, and dementia to the final failure of the brain to support survival. Medical efforts to abate the disorder's development after symptoms arise have yielded discouraging results. Once unmistakable traits of Alzheimer's emerge, it seems, the mind is at the disease's scant mercy. None of the five drugs with U.S. government approval for Alzheimer's, including the latest, called memantine or Namenda, does more than slow or temporarily stop mental deterioration.

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