ML - Vegas Magazine

Vegas - 2015 - Issue 7 - November - Natalie Dormer

Vegas Magazine - Niche Media - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.

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Page 102 of 115

Princess Yasmin Aga Khan (center) with Robert and Linda Mendelson, members of the steering committee for the 2015 Rita Hayworth Gala in Chicago. optimism among Alzheimer's researchers. News from the science front has admittedly been dreary as far as Alzheimer's is concerned, with no effective treatments on the market and just a few FDA-approved drugs available that have had some success in boosting a patient's memory. "But that doesn't mean there's noth- ing on the horizon," says Hartley, who cites one recent breakthrough that enables researchers to image the living brain and see problem- causing plaques and tangles that start to develop long before Alzheimer's is present, as opposed to having to wait for an autopsy. That knowledge can hopefully lead to the ability to recognize who is at the most risk and, ideally, stop the progression of the disease before a per- son demonstrates symptoms—perhaps with a drug that may already be in trials. "What we're thinking," explains Hartley, "is that maybe [some of ] those drugs that have failed in clini- cal trials weren't inappropriate, they were just being used at the wrong time." At the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, director and world-renowned Alzheimer's researcher Dr. Jeffrey Cummings speaks optimistically about another poten- tial breakthrough that may be at hand involving the use of new immunotherapies for patients with A lzheimer's. "I m munot herapies involve g iv ing patients antibodies, which then attack the abnor- mal proteins that are accumulating in the brain," he explains. "There are two of these treatments that are particularly promising—one from Lilly, one above: New brain-imaging technology makes it possible to see the plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer's disease before memory problems or other symptoms develop. photography Courtesy of teK IMage/sCIenCe photo LIbrary/CorbIs (teChnoLogy); bILL reIChert (MendeLson)  101 continued on page 102 Gray Matters When it comes to fghting Alzheimer's disease, Larry Ruvo is blazing the trail. By Meg Mathis "I 'm in the liquor and wine business in Las Vegas. Who's going to take me seriously?" recalls Larry Ruvo of an idea frst suggested to him in 1998 by the late Alzheimer's disease researcher Leon Thal, MD. At the time, Ruvo was best known as the senior man- aging director of Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada. A veteran of the hospitality industry, he practically grew up in The Venetian Restaurant, the Italian institu- tion (frequented by bold-faced names like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Robert De Niro) owned by his parents, Lou and Angie Ruvo, for more than 40 years. But following Thal's recommendation, Ruvo took a decidedly personal turn by launch- ing the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (my.cleveland lou-ruvo-brain-health), inspired by the care—or lack thereof—his father received while suffering from the disease, and the ensuing toll it took on his mother. Ruvo recalls taking his father to an Alzheimer's disease specialist and waiting for 45 minutes alongside three other patients—one wheelchair-bound, one in diapers, and one with his head slumped down. "My dad was somewhat lucid then, and he asked, 'Is this where I'm headed?'" says Ruvo. "I said, 'No, Dad, this doctor sees a myriad of other diseases.' But I had a sense it was true," says Ruvo. "Afterwards, I said if I could ever do anything, I would never have a building with a waiting room." Following his father's death from Alzheimer's disease in 1994, Angie required back surgery as a result of the two discs she'd

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