In this medical video learn about a drug that treats Alzheimer's disease could also help battle memory loss that comes with multiple sclerosis.
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Jennifer Mathews: There was a time when 56 year old Jean McNeill loved to read books. Now she can barely get through this newsletter. She is gradually losing her short- term memory. Jean McNeill: It started out with just small things -- not remembering what somebody told me. Jennifer Mathews: Jean has multiple sclerosis, a disease where her body attacks her central nervous system and her brain. She used to have seizures, but medication has stopped them. But there is no drug to combat her memory loss. But her doctor hopes that will change with the drug donepezil, normally used for Alzheimer's patients. Neurologist Lauren Krupp conducted a study on MS patients with mild memory problems. Those taking the drug improved on memory tests by 14 %. Lauren Krupp: The kinds of improvements that were experienced were pretty significant for not all the people but for a sizable number. Jennifer Mathews: Doctor Krupp says donepezil has minor gastro-intestinal side effects. She is conducting a larger study in hopes of getting the same positive results. Lauren Krupp: If we do, then I would be the first to get on the stump and start telling doctors hear we can do something now to help people with MS. Jean McNeill: I don't know what the future holds -- nobody does -- so if this medication works, I'd be very, very happy to take it. Jennifer Mathews: Jean will take part in the next study and hopes her memory will bounce back to where it was before. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.