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Ruvo Center participates in Alzheimer's clinical trial

Reported by: Denise Rosch
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Updated: 7/17/2014 7:38 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV — A new clinical trial for Alzheimer's patients is being conducted in Las Vegas.

The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is one of only a handful of locations in the world where the research is being done.

To participate: If you would like more information about taking part in this clinical trial, call (702) 685-7070.
Bob Sheehan is one of eight local patients to undergo a new clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease at The Ruvo Center.

“They diagnosed it a year ago last January, just before his 80th birthday,” said Helen Sheehan, Bob’s wife. “He was having trouble remembering things.”

A treatment already approved in Israel is now being studied in the United States.

“There are approved medications that most of our patients are on, but they just slow down the process there's no cure,” said research coordinator Yolande Mucharbach. “So we're trying different methods here in our research department to see what might possibly help in the future.”

Here's how it works. While the patient performs a series of cognitive tests on a screen, a coil is placed next to a specific region of the brain, transmitting magnetic stimulation. It's believed the combination of the two may help patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

“Maybe it's too early in the development of that equipment to help (Bob), but it would help somebody,” Helen Sheehan said.

Researchers say it's critical that the medical field gets ahead of this disease right now. By some estimates, as many as 16 million people over the age of 65 could be diagnosed with Alzheimer's by the year 2050. That's three times the current number of patients.

For Bob Sheehan, he'll go through testing, five days a week for six weeks. The former teacher and high school basketball coach simply hopes to slow down the disease.

“It's amazing some of the things you can remember from you know, you're a senior in high school, you remember those things,” he said. “But I sit down to eat … I might have to think twice about what I was going to have.”

Patients enrolled in the study must make a 15-week commitment, which includes screening, testing, and follow-up visits.


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