Duke University MURDOCK Study

Memory and Cognitive Health MURDOCK Study Cohort Filled: A community affected by Alzheimer’s disease responds

July 16, 2013


July 16, 2013

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a major public health dilemma affecting over 170,000 North Carolinians and 5.2 million Americans, putting a significant burden on more than 15 million family members and friends who care for these loved ones.  In fact, in 2012, there was an estimated $216.4 billion in uncompensated caregiver costs. The MURDOCK Study set out to recruit individuals into the Memory and Cognitive Health cohort so Duke researchers and potential partners can understand what causes AD and how it can be more effectively treated. A total of 1,500 volunteer participants, ages 55 and older, were sought and in less than two years, MURDOCK Study staff successfully recruited this cohort between August 2012 and May 2013.

When asked about the group’s progress, Miss Leah Bouk, clinical trials project leader for locally based Kannapolis, NC MURDOCK Study team, pointed out, “The overwhelming response from the [local Kannapolis/Cabarrus County] community is a good indication of the impact that the disease has on the population.” She noted that participants were eager to enroll. Combine this community response with the skilled and caring study team who worked to contact the participants already enrolled in the MURDOCK Study and the resulting high number of interested, consented, and tested individuals was attained in a relatively short period of time.

A rich resource of memory and cognitive health data from more than 1,500 participants with a large specimen bank is now available. For instance, a project called the PREPARE study (Prevention Screening Study & Database/Repository) is being conducted in the Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (Bryan ADRC) at Duke under the leadership of center director, Dr. Kathleen Welsh-Bohmer. The PREPARE study has over 1,300 diverse participants available for studies related to AD with an already established repository of health information and blood samples. An additional project involves the Bryan ADRC and collaborators in Tomsk, Russia with a similar cohort resulting in another large registry, repository, and data set.

Duke researchers and collaborators can access the MURDOCK Study data and recruitment capabilities in order to conduct research in predicting, preventing, and treating this disease. Dr. Welsh-Bohmer noted, “The MURDOCK personnel now have processes in place that allow them to respond nimbly to future clinical trials involving cognitive assessment.” The team has rigorous quality assurance and data capture methods in place that can efficiently aid researchers.

Interested investigators are encouraged to contact the team by emailing murdock-study@duke.edu.

More information about Bryan ADRC studies and collaborative possibilities are also available at the Center website by clicking here or calling (866) 444-ADRC or (866) 444-2372.

The MURDOCK Study staff is committed to educating the local community about ongoing research and the impact it will have on the future of medicine. A real connection will be made between participation in research and the resulting outcomes. Without study participants, progress in dealing with AD would not be possible.

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