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Clinical Trial At Hackensack University Medical Center Aims To Offer Treatment For Alzheimer's Agitation

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- One of the biggest stress inducers for Alzheimer's disease caregivers is not memory loss but agitation.

It can take on many forms and afflicts 80-90% of Alzheimer's patients.

CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez says there are no FDA-approved drugs for Alzheimer's agitation, but there is a new clinical trial just beginning that could change that.

Lynn and Bernard Malin led a happy marriage, traveling and enjoying life, until about three years ago when Bernard began to change a little.

"He was still acting very normal. He would forget some things, but he was still very normal," Lynn said.

Then about three years ago, Bernard changed a lot.

"When they get agitated, you need to make sure that all your doors are locked, that there's nothing they can hurt themselves with. You need to walk away and leave them alone. Because if you don't, they're going to argue with you and that can cause more agitation," Lynn said.

Fortunately, the Malins found Dr. Manisha Parulekar, co-director of the Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health at Hackensack University Medical Center. She's starting a clinical trial for a drug that's actually an antidepressant.

" We feel that it is efficacious. Now we need evidence to back up our hypothesis," she said. "We have seen positive and encouraging results, and that's the reason why we're excited to offer this trial here at Hackensack."

Lynn is hoping to get Bernard into the trial, which opens up in October and will last about six months.

For more information about the medication and the trial, click here.

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