Svetlik said the clinic also has several other drug trials under way. Only one Alzheimer's medication, Cognex, has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. About 25 percent of Alzheimer's patients can tolerate an adequate dose of Cognex, and a quarter of those have shown improvement, Svetlik said.
"After Cognex was approved, we had difficulty recruiting for other drug studies because everyone wanted to be on that drug," she said. "We're now starting to get more interest in these new studies as people realize that one drug doesn't work for everybody."
The cause of Alzheimer's is still a mystery although researchers have made progress in understanding the role played by genes. The new generation of medications target various sections of the brain that degenerate during the course of the disease.
Alzheimer's disease affects approximately 4 million Americans. The UT Southwestern clinic currently sees about 300 patients.
For more information about the new drug studies and other clinic research, call (214) 648-8696.