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Alzheimer's Drug Trials Lag As Number of Patients Rises

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Research conducted at the Cleveland Clinic found that while the number of people living with Alzheimer's disease continues to rise -- expected to reach over 100 million by 2050 -- there were only 413 Alzheimer's disease drug trials between 2002 and 2012.

During the same time period, there were nearly 5,000 clinical trials for breast cancer drugs. It's a shocking gap, considering that approximately 50,000 deaths each year in the U.S. can be attributed to Alzheimer's disease -- more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined, the report, published in the journal Alzheimer's Research and Therapy, said.

Currently, there are just five drugs approved for treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The failure rate of drugs tested against Alzheimer's is a staggering 99.6 percent.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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