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Doctor thanks Glen Campbell for public discussion of Alzheimer's disease

(WZTV)

Scientists at Vanderbilt University won FDA approval to begin human tests for an investigational drug to treat Alzheimer's.

Researchers took Fox 17 News inside their lab and demonstrated how to use the special cap they made to measure brain waves.

Dr. Paul Newhouse, M.D., director of the Center for Cognitive Medicine at VUMC said it could prove the effectiveness of the first new drug to treat Alzheimer's in more than a decade.

"What we want to do is either stop that process from advancing or even prevent it in the first place," Newhouse said.

Country Music Legend Glen Campbell died Tuesday after battling the degenerative brain disease.

"Mr. Campbell and the difficult journey and Kim's very public discussion of that has been a real help to us," Newhouse said.

The experimental drug is called VU-319. The FDA has approved clinical trials in healthy adults.

Real Alzheimer's patients will test the drug during the second phase of clinical trials.

"What it we hope it will do is improve memory, improve attention, improve the ability to think and learn and speak and remember," Newhouse said. "Those are all the areas were targeting. We're hoping to see a very rapid clinical benefit once we get to patients."

Newhouse and his team believe the experimental drug can offer cognitive benefit without the side effects of current Alzheimer's drugs.

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