Early Progress From the World Brain Study: Imad Najm, MD


The director of Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center provided an update on the World Brain Study, a large-scale, longitudinal study aimed to observe the early, underlying changes in neurological disorders. [WATCH TIME: 9 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 9 minutes

"What we found so far is almost exactly what’s been published in journals of healthy populations. Then we looked at what could be a risk factor for the development of some of these diseases."

The time to cure neurological disease is before a diagnosis; however, understanding the underlying changes occurring remains a significant challenge for those in the field. Years before symptoms arise, silent changes begin to occur in the brain, and in some cases, may put a patient at risk for multiple neurologic conditions.

Introduced in early 2022, Cleveland Clinic’s Brain Study will collect data from up to 200,000 neurologically healthy participants yearly for up to 20 years, with the goal to uncover the presymptomatic causes of neurodegenerative diseases. Patients aged 50 years and older with no neurological disorder and neurologically healthy adults aged 20 years and older who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with multiple sclerosis make up the study cohort. Led by Imad Najm, MD, the trial will use several serial assessments, including neurological exam, quality of life questionnaires, blood and stool sampling, echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, MRI, and many others.

More than a year since its initiation, Najm shared updates on the progress of the study at the 2023 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, April 22-27, in Boston, Massachusetts. Najm, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center, sat down to discuss his presentation, and specifically, the overall makeup of the cohort to date. He spoke about some of the early changes seen in these patients and the impact the trial could have on general neurology.

Click here for more coverage of AAN 2023.

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