Research We Support

Clinical Trials: The Gold Standard

Hollywood often portrays research as a dramatic “Eureka!” moment when a single scientist working in his lab jumps to his feet, bubbling test tube in hand, and announces he has found a miracle cure. In real life, research is far more complex, yielding results after years, not moments, of investigation. The cornerstone is clinical trials, the only route to advance new drug therapies. 

Almost every staff member at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is involved in conducting clinical trials. These trials generate the only type of data acceptable to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when it considers which treatments to approve for people with brain disorders.

Since we launched our research program in 2009, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials program has grown to be among the largest in the nation, conducting more than 70 trials.

This quest for knowledge has yielded real-world results. A number of drugs tested at our center have made it to market. Among these successes are:

  • Nuplazid ® (pimavanserin), the first medication approved for treatment of hallucinations and delusions in Parkinson’s disease
  • Ocrevus™ (ocrelizumab), an intravenous infusion approved for adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and the first drug approved for treatment of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS)
  • Nuedexta® (dextromethorphan/quinidine), approved for treatment of pseudobulbar affect, which induces abnormal laughing and crying in people with brain disorders

Global Reach

Neuroscience research does not occur in a vacuum. Our center takes part in multidisciplinary, multisite trials sponsored by multiple stakeholders, including pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, and independent foundations and donors. We also engage with and lead important national and international neuroscience networks, among them the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), the Global Alzheimer’s Platform (GAP) and the Parkinson’s Study Group (PSG). We hold the “Partner in MS Care” designation from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

All We Need Is You

Patients are the vital link in research. When you participate in a clinical trial, you become a citizen scientist, making important contributions toward identifying new therapies to help yourself and countless others who may be affected. Visit the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s web portal, Healthy Brains, which has helpful advice on how to protect your brain, asks about users’ interest in clinical trials and provides information on why and how to participate.

You can also help by donating to Keep Memory Alive. Research is very expensive and your donation, no matter the size, can help our center fulfill its mandate to investigate the next generation of drug therapies for brain disease. Watch this video to see the impact of philanthropic support on research, and then contact us at DonateNevada@keepmemoryalive.org to start a conversation and help us stretch brain span to match lifespan.