MURDOCK Study partners for Alzheimer's research
N.C. Research Campus
KANNAPOLIS — The MURDOCK Study — Measurement to Understand the Reclassification of Disease Of Cabarrus/ Kannapolis — has contributed to the understanding and treatment of diseases like hepatitis C, heart disease, obesity and osteoarthritis. A partnership between the MURDOCK Study, based at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis, and the Duke University Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center promises similar advances in the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders.
People 55 years or older who live in the MURDOCK Study’s geographic area can enroll in a Memory Health Study. The data gathered from the study conducted in Kannapolis and a similar study in Durham will be used to examine cognitive performance in order to better understand the factors that accelerate or postpone cognitive changes often experienced in older years. The project will also gather data for research into biomarkers, proteins in the blood that may indicate Alzheimer’s disease and lay the foundation for a long-term prevention study that could lead to clinical trials for a new Alzheimer’s treatment.
“It’s the only study I’m aware of that is looking at a general population and trying to statistically cover all aspects of the population by looking at things in a genomic and proteomic way,” said Dr. Robert Kinney, a pathologist, vice president of education for Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast in Concord, and a member of the MURDOCK Study Healthcare Advisory Board. “The value is to find ways to predict disease earlier and treat disease earlier.”
Dr. Kathleen Welsh-Bohmer, director of the Bryan Research Center, expects the partnership with the MURDOCK Study may help with early disease detection. “One of our goals in developing better treatments has been to improve early disease detection so that we can distinguish Alzheimer’s early on from similar effects of normal brain aging,” she said. “The rationale is that knowing the early signature, permits early intervention before substantial damage has occurred. Over the last five years, there has been great success in identifying early clinical signatures of the disease that are reliable and strongly predictive of a progressive process like Alzheimer’s disease.”
For more information on the MURDOCK Study and enrolling in the Memory Health Study, visit www.murdock-study.org