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Patients Sought for Study on Drug Treatment for Alzheimer's

August 08, 1993|LUCILLE RENWICK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A medication used to treat Parkinson's disease is being tested for its effectiveness in slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease in a two-year study being conducted by two USC professors.

The study, which began in December and will run until spring, 1995, will examine the problems of Alzheimer's patients as well as the effect of the drug Selegeline in reducing the degenerative effect of the disease.

"This study is very significant in researching the treatment of Alzheimer's because it's one of the very first to actually test whether a medication can slow decline of the illness," said Dr. Lon Schneider head of the study and associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at USC.

No medications are available to treat Alzheimer's, which affects 4 million Americans. More than 100,000 adults die each year from Alzheimer's, a degenerative brain disease that deteriorates memory, behavioral functions and eventually the immune system.

Dr. Jason Olin, a USC instructor, is coordinating the study.

Schneider and Olin are recruiting patients for the project until September. Patients must be at least 45 and willing to commit to the duration of the study. More Latino patients are being sought for the study.

Information: English, (213) 224-5463; Spanish, (213) 224-5462.

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