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Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, cognition and behavior. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US with half a million deaths every year. It is the most common form of dementia, named in up to 80 per cent of cases.

The condition tends to develop slowly with increasing severity. Symptoms include significant forgetfulness, wandering, amnesic episodes and unusual behavior patterns. As the disease progresses, the tasks involved in day-to-day living become increasingly difficult and the individual will become unable to maintain a conversation, recognize familiar people or perform even simple tasks, although there may be some brief periods of lucidity.

Typically diagnosed in those older than 65, approximately five per cent of cases begin when a person is in his or her 40s and are classed as early-onset Alzheimer’s. Those diagnosed with the disease survive for eight years (on average) after the onset of symptoms.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s but researchers are investigating treatments that will help to improve sufferers’ quality of life. Family members and caregivers are often significantly affected by the progression of this condition, as caring for loved ones becomes increasingly challenging and upsetting.

Alzheimer’s is more common in those aged over 65

Tree of Hope

Larry Schillig donated the “Tree of Hope” to the Alzheimer’s Association in loving memory of his wife, Eileen Schillig, in 2001

Among a number of organizations, Ribbons for Research has selected the following organization in support of this condition:

Cleveland Clinic/Lou Ruvo Center For Brain Health

The Cleveland Clinic/Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is a clinical care, translational research, and clinical trials foundation specializing in the development of new therapies for neurodegenerative disorders and care of patients with neurocognitive deficits. According to U.S. News & World Report Hospital Rankings, Cleveland Clinic is one of the top ten medical clinics for neurology and neurosurgery.


Jeffrey Cummings MD, ScD and Executive Director of the Cleveland Clinic/Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

Jeffrey Cummings is a Director of the Center and a world-renowned expert on Alzheimer’s disease with expertise in clinical trial design and analysis, global trial implementation, and trial outcome measures. The vision and dedication of Dr. Cummings and his staff are helping us to take great steps in curing a disease that will impact more then a third of Americans.

Housed in a landmark Frank Geary structure, the Clinic/Center is committed to improving the lives of patients whom are faced with the challenging and overwhelming loss of memory or movement.  When Lou Ruvo was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1995, his son, Larry, recognized that he could not locate good medical brain health treatment nor a support system for those suffering from Alzheimer’s. He created the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in honor of his father.

Larry Ruvo, founder of the Center

Dr. Kate Zhong is the Senior Director of Clinical Research and Development