Clinical Trial For Alzheimer’s Disease Underway At Lakewood Hospital

New technology aims to improve brain function for Alzheimer’s patients

People aged 60 to 90 who are diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease may benefit from something as simple as sitting in a chair – a state-of-the-art chair, that is.

Clinical trials for the new chair therapy began last fall at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. This non-invasive therapeutic system uses cognitive training and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to targeted areas of the brain. The trial was expanded to Lakewood Hospital in early 2014.

“While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, we are always looking for treatments to improve cognitive function for patients,” says Babak Tousi, MD, a geriatrician with special interest in neurodegenerative diseases. He is the principal investigator of the clinical trial at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at Lakewood Hospital (formerly the SeniorCare Assessment Center). “Until the introduction of this device, medication was the only approved option for treatment,” Dr. Tousi says. “The pilot trials suggest that this treatment may help provide patients with nine months of better brain function even after the treatment.”

Know the Symptoms

Alzheimer’s disease, the result of an increasing number of nerve cells deteriorating and dying, affects more than 5 million Americans, most older than 65. Symptoms include:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Decline in executive functions (mental processes which connect past experience with present action)
  • Poor judgment Aphasia (language disorders)
  • Apraxia (motor disorders)

How the trial and treatment works

Following an initial interview and consultation with the physician and a research coordinator, individuals approved for the trial must commit to participating in a 15-week program that consists of daily appointments (lasting 1 to 1-1/2 hours) five days a week for six weeks and two screening visits.

Patients interested in participating in this trial or getting more information, may contact the study coordinator, Christine Whitman, RN, at 216.227.2438 or

Additional support for older adults

The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health offers comprehensive outpatient services for older adults experiencing a change in their physical, psychological or social well-being at four locations (Lakewood Hospital, Cleveland Clinic main campus, Las Vegas and Cleveland Clinic Florida). For more information or to schedule an appointment at Lakewood Hospital, call 216.521.2228.

In partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association Cleveland Area Chapter, Lakewood Hospital presents Tuesdays Talk on Dementia. Held the first Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at Lakewood Hospital (Community Health Center, 1450 Belle Ave., 2nd floor). Topics of discussion vary each month. For more information or to reserve a spot, call 216.227.2273.

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Volume 10, Issue 20, Posted 2:16 PM, 09.30.2014