Cleveland Clinic study to use GE180 tracer to detect neuroinflammation

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The Food and Drug Administration has granted approval to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to test the GE180 tracer, an experimental imaging tool used to detect neuroinflammation.

Aaron Ritter, MD, director of clinical trials at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, holds the only Investigational New Drug (IND) for GE180 to be issued by the FDA.

As the principal investigator, Ritter will oversee a new positron emission tomography (PET) imaging study observing neuroinflammation in the brains of patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The two-year trial will leverage the GE180 tracer in conjunction with PET scans to detect neuroinflammation—over-activation of immune cells—in the brains of 70 participants.

“We do know there is some connection between inflammation and neurodegenerative disease, but we have yet to confirm what that is, and until now, it’s been hard to quantify in a living brain,” said Ritter. “The GE180 tracer is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the science of brain disease in ways that have not previously been studied. If we can confirm that inflammation plays a role in dementia, this could lead to new treatments that specifically target cognitive decline.”

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The goal of the study is to better understand the link between inflammation and neurodegeneration, as well as determine if GE180 is effective in a patient population that includes those with normal cognitive function and those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is the first and only trial site testing GE180 in this patient population. The study is an observational sub-study of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s Center of Biomedical Research of Excellence (COBRE) grant from the National Institutes of Health, which seeks to understand the similarities between Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

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