LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – A Las Vegas doctor is taking medical research where it has never been before to find answers on brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
It’s the first study of its kind and can only be found at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in downtown Las Vegas.
Dr. Aaron Ritter is the head of medical research in what’s known as the GE-180 study.
"We're looking at inflammation in the brain,” said Dr. Ritter. “Inflammation is linked to degenerative conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. This is the first time we can look at it in the brain and see if we can actually see it during life instead of waiting until an autopsy."
So how does it work?
Patients volunteering to be in the study are injected with a radioactive drug. The drug doesn’t harm or treat the diseases. It simply attaches to the inflammation and paints a picture for Dr. Ritter.
While inflammation is likely linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, Dr. Ritter is hoping this study will provide evidence of the connection. Doctors will then be able to develop better treatments and see if anti-inflammatory drugs are having a real effect in preventing or delaying the disease.
Dr. Ritter will examine 70 patient scans in the two year study. Some of those patients will be in good health, others with moderate memory issues, and some with the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Dr. Ritter has done four scans since the start of the research early December.
The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is looking for more people to help with its research.
You can find more information on research at Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health here.