Duke University MURDOCK Study

Physical Performance (Healthy Aging)

March 07, 2013

The Murdock Study

Discovering the links to changes in physical and cognitive abilities in older Americans

The Duke Older Americans Independence Center aims to understand and improve the health of older adults. To further this research, the MURDOCK Study will collect a brief physical and cognitive performance assessment at two time points from 1,000 people who join the MURDOCK Study. These data, paired with data from serum and plasma samples, offer great promise in the discovery of factors associated with age-related preservation or decline of optimal functioning. This research will provide an important basis for our understanding of the physical, lifestyle, and genetic factors which, over the lifespan, contribute to changes in physical and cognitive capabilities as we age. There are currently 501 participants in this cohort.

Eligibility Requirements -> Newly Expanded Eligibility!

  • Age 30 or older and live within the MURDOCK Study eligible zip codes
  • Ability to understand and provide written consent
  • No diagnosis or treatment for any of the following conditions in the past six months; heart attack, congestive heart failure, angina, or fluid in the lungs
  • Cannot be pregnant at the time of enrollment
  • Must be able to walk 30ft without human assistance (assistive devices are allowed)

Study Requirements

All participants will enroll in the MURDOCK Study Community Registry and Biorepository, give 50 mL (three tablespoons) of blood and 40 mL of urine, and complete the MURDOCK Study Participant Questionnaire. Additionally, Physical Performance Study participants will complete a 1-page questionnaire and brief physical and cognitive assessment. Over the following 7 days after enrolling, each participant will wear an “accelerometer” around their waist – or a small device that measures the number of steps taken – which records activity level. This study also requires a 2-year follow-up visit where a 20 mL blood draw and the same physical and cognitive assessments will be performed.


A total of $30 in gift cards will be provided to participants who enroll in this study ($10 for MURDOCK Study enrollment and $10 for each Physical Performance visit)

Meet the Principal Investigator

Dr. Miriam Morey, Co-Director of the Duke Older Americans Independence (“Pepper”) Center and Associate Director of Research, Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Durham VA Medical Center, is leading this study. About the study, she says, “ We are very excited to launch the Physical Performance Study of the MURDOCK study.  Participants in this study will be contributing valuable information that will advance our understanding of factors that contribute to maintaining optimal health as we age.  What we learn from this study will benefit Americans all over the country!” To learn more about Dr. Morey, click here.

April 15, 2014: Study Reaches New Milestone – 500 participants!

For More Information about Joining

For questions about this study or to schedule an enrollment visit, please contact the MURDOCK Study office at (704) 250-5861 or email murdock-study@duke.edu.  Convenient study locations are available in the local region.


Comments are closed.

Connect With Us