HealthWise at 5 From 3.22 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/22/02

HealthWise at 5 From 3.22

  • Blood Test for Alzheimer's

Right now, the only way to get a true diagnosis of Alzheimer's in humans is by waiting until they die and then looking at the brain, but a new test may give better clues while the patient is still alive. A study in this week's issue of Science says researchers have developed a blood test that can predict the amount of plaque in the brain which is a red flag for Alzheimer's Disease. So far, they're just testing mice, but scientists are hopeful the blood test will become the first non-invasive check for Alzheimer's Disease even before symptoms appear.

The study says we already know a person with Alzheimer's can begin to show physical changes in the brain 10 to 20 years before any symptoms show up. This test could provide a very early diagnoses so that preventive treatment could begin at a much younger age. The test was developed by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Eli Lilly and Company.

  • Cancer Fighting Cell

Experts have now identified part of a cancer cell that actually helps the body fight the disease, and a synthetic form of the cell may someday be used as a cancer vaccine. Cancer Immune Incorporated, has developed an experimental form of such a vaccine. It's called Cavax and it's been shown to stimulate the production of cancer fighting antibodies in animal studies. Researchers will begin testing the vaccine on humans next year.

  • Senior Drug Discount

We've had several requests to repeat this information for seniors looking for a new drug discount. So, get ready if you think you might qualify for a new program to help seniors pay for prescription drugs. The assistance program from drug maker Eli Lilly allows low-income seniors with no drug insurance to get a month's supply of a prescription drug for just $12. It's a savings that could be really big because when you consider a year's supply of Prozac, for example, would retail for about $1,000 this deal means it would cost you only $144 for the year.

Several rival drug makers have already announced similar plans. But this is the first offer for drugs made by Eli Lilly. Seniors can apply for the drug discount card by calling this toll free number: 1-877-RX-LILLY. You'll get your card back in two to four weeks and pharmacies will start accepting the cards in April.

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