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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 103 of 115

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL RICHERT (PRINCESS YASMIN) "We're fi nding mechanisms to boost the dollars that we need to accelerate treatment. That's how we' ll make progress."— DR. DEAN HARTLEY the lack of funding," says Hartley, noting that can- cer and heart disease receive between $4 billion and $6 billion per year in research money, while Alzheimer's is at just $600 million. In December 2014, Congress took a step toward rectifying that imbalance with the passage of the Alzheimer's Accountability Act, which gives the National Institutes of Health the opportunity to tell Congress each year how much it needs in funding. "So we're fi nding these mechanisms to boost the dollars that we need to accelerate [treatments]," says Hartley, a note of hope in his voice. "That's how we'll make that progress." Back in Chicago, at the Rita Hayworth Gala, as Princess Yasmin Aga Khan leans in to be heard over the strains of the jazz band, she, too, speaks with cautious optimism, tempered by the awareness that the fi ght is far from over. "We're getting close, and I think there's hope," she says. "I'm proud that the Alzheimer's Association is what it is today, and that it has spread the word nationally and internation- ally. And I'm proud of all the dollars that everyone has raised. But we're not there yet." V from Biogen." His dream-world scenario? "The most optimistic forecast would be for the Lilly com- pound, which should be fi nished next year and therefore could be available in the market in about three years, if everything went perfectly." As patients and their families wait for the dis- covery of effective treatments, the Alzheimer's Association is focusing its efforts on disease pre- vention and brain health with its "10 Ways to Love Your Brain" program, which was unveiled on June 1 in recognition of Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month and encourages general lifestyle improve- ments, such as regular cardiovascular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and continuing edu- cation. "We never want to give people a recipe of what they can do [that will mean] you're not going to get Alzheimer's, because nobody knows that," says Fazio, who led the development of the program. "But there's been good research on exercise and on diet, so this new program is really all about aging well. It looks at four pillars: cognitive activity, physi- cal exercise and health, diet and nutrition, and social engagement. It's basically a healthy-aging program. We're talking about aging in general versus just brain health, because it's really about all we do to age well. Brain health is one piece of it. It's all stuff we should be doing." HOPE FOR THE FUTURE Even the experts know that brain health can do only so much without effective treatments for Alzheimer's on the market. In 2011, President Obama signed the National Alzheimer's Project Act, a plan to fi nd effective treatments by 2025 — but, ultimately, the program's success will depend on dollars. "One of our biggest impediments now is Princess Yasmin Aga Khan speaking at the Rita Hayworth Gala, the fundraiser she founded in memory of her mother. FROM LEFT: Larry Ruvo, founder of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, with his father, Lou Ruvo, who battled with Alzheimer's disease. 102 VEGASMAGAZINE.COM ruptured by lifting her husband when he fell. Says Ruvo, "We just didn't under- stand what caregiving was about." Now, he does. Not only does the $80 million Frank Gehry-designed Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which opened in 2010, have no waiting rooms for more immediate, self-contained medical care ("We try not to commingle stage one with stage two and stage three," says Ruvo), but it is also steadfast in providing care to the caregiver. With additional centers in Ohio and Florida, Ruvo believes his work is only beginning. "We've made enormous progress," says Jeffrey L. Cummings, MD, direc- tor of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, who cites the more than 40 drugs that have been tested across the clinic's trial consor- tium as a promising development. And the good news for Las Vegans is there are many ways to get involved in the fi ght against Alzheimer's disease: Clinical trials. The nonprofi t Keep Memory Alive (, which supports the Lou Ruvo Center, offers interventional and non-interventional clinical trials where participants can help advance the research of brain diseases. Call 855-568-7886 or e-mail to learn more. Support groups. A variety of specialized support groups— from early stage and veterans living with the disease to caretakers—are available to Southern Nevada residents through the Alzheimer's Association's Desert Southwest Chapter. Visit or contact the 24-hour helpline at 800-272-3900. Fundraisers. The Alzheimer's Association's Desert Southwest Chapter hosts the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's at seven locations during autumn to raise funds. Visit

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