News Summary: New Alzheimer's studies offer hope

The Associated Press

ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH: Scientists at drugmakers including Merck, Eli Lilly and Roche are starting a new round of studies of potential drugs to treat or perhaps even prevent Alzheimer's disease.

HOPE ON HORIZON: The Alzheimer's Association's top scientist says if the studies pan out, a medicine to slow or even stop progression of the mind-robbing disease could be ready in three to five years.

DESPERATELY NEEDED: As the U.S. population ages, the number of Alzheimer's patients is expected to jump from 5.4 million now to 16 million by 2050, when care costs could hit $1.1 trillion.