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Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health Opens for Business
Date:7/13/2009

LAS VEGAS, July 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health welcomes its first patients today, opening the doors to an architectural gem and a highly touted model of patient-focused care.

The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is a highly specialized clinical center designed to advance the research, early detection and treatment of neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

"We still have much more to accomplish, but welcoming patients and caregivers is a truly significant benchmark for all involved," said Larry Ruvo, a businessman and philanthropist, who named the center for his father, whose last years were spent as a victim of Alzheimer's disease. "It's certainly a day worth celebrating for all those afflicted or involved with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington, A.L.S. and other neurodegenerative diseases who have worked so hard to make this effort a reality."

The center's mission is to prevent the disabling symptoms of chronic brain diseases and to prolong healthy, vital aging in people at risk for dementia or cognitive disorders, through the use of Cleveland Clinic's patient-centered, research-based Institutes model. This model of care enables the entire healthcare team to pool their wisdom and expertise for the benefit of the patient, linking various specialists across organ systems or disease states - such as Neurology, Cancer or Cardiology - to deliver improved patient care.

"Applying our model of care to the treatment of cognitive disorders promises to improve the quality of life for countless Americans," said Delos "Toby" Cosgrove, Cleveland Clinic's CEO and president. "By integrating clinical care, research and prevention under one roof, we can streamline and improve care for our patients. Coordinating care in this way can have a broad economic impact on our healthcare system by reducing administrative costs and putting the focus on quality."

Alzheimer's disease, alone, accounts for $1.75 trillion in direct and indirect costs annually, according to the Alzheimer's Association. New discoveries and emerging science are showing that cognitive disorders can be identified earlier than previously believed, offering the potential for intervening earlier and delaying disease. In the case of Alzheimer's, delaying onset of the disease by just 10 years could wipe out this devastating disease.

The Center is the brainchild of Larry Ruvo, in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most respected medical institutes in the country.

For several years, since his father's death in 1994, Mr. Ruvo has pursued his goal of creating a world-class cognitive disease center unequalled in the United States, a setting in which compassionate care would go hand-in-hand with cutting-edge treatments, where the most sophisticated research would be combined with the training and education of patients' families and their care-givers.

"Larry Ruvo has done it, he truly is the American story," said U.S. Senator Harry Reid. "He has brought the reputation of a first-class facility, one of the most famous architects of our time and now one of the five best medical institutions in the world to Nevada."

The $100 million facility, designed by Frank Gehry, will house clinical space, a diagnostic center, neuroimaging rooms, physician offices and laboratories devoted to clinical research. The design of the building, like the medical programming that will take place in the Center it houses, is both original and a paradigm shift for how a physical setting is now considered a part of the prescription for enhanced patient and caregiver care.

At the helm of the Center is Dr. Randolph Schiffer, formerly of the Vernon and Elizabeth Haggerton Chair in Neurology at the Clinic, and Dr. Charles Bernick, a world renowned specialist with more than twenty years of experience in the field of Alzheimer's disease. "The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients with cognitive disorders couldn't come at a better time," said Dr. Schiffer, noting the continuing increase in these afflictions "to epidemic proportions."


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SOURCE Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
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