Alzheimer's trial drug shows promise, lifts hopes of local families

More than 5.7 million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, including 30,000 in the Miami Valley.

A new clinical trial has many feeling hopeful, especially with the number diagnosed expected to jump to 15 million over the next two decades.

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Eighteen months after patients took a drug called Ban 2401, many said they saw a dramatic improvement.

John Loveless and his wife, Jennifer, life in Sugarcreek Twp. In January 2017, John was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

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“Neither of us had any prior experience and any family members with the disease. It was a pretty crash course for us,” Jennifer Loveless said.

John Loveless has been on a different clinical trial where he travels once a month to Columbus. The two have been doing this for almost a year now. With news of a new drug that could potentially treat Alzheimer’s, the two are feeling better about the future.

“It gives me great hope that there is a solution on the way and the drug I’m on shows great promise and hopefully that will be the solution,” John Loveless said.

Since the diagnosis, the couple has been helping with the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter in raising awareness and money for research.

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“It’s more than just a lifeline, it is a connection with other people who are struggling with this devastating disease,” Jennifer Loveless said.

Eric VanVlymen, regional director of the Alzheimer’s Association, said he was at the research conference in Chicago when the announcement about the drug study was made.

“This is a really exciting development,” he said, with the study showing improvement in cognition and functions in patients who were given high doses of the experimental drug. “We’ve not had a lot of great news out of trials in the past five years but now there’s kind of hope.”

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For the first time in years, many living with this disease are hopeful someone will be the first to overcome Alzheimer’s.

“I’m confident today with the research that’s going on we will find a cure,” John Loveless said.

For more information, contact the Alzheimer's Association's 24-hour helpline 800-272-3900.

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