Outline of New Cleveland Clinic Brain Study: Imad Najm, MD


The director of Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center provided insight on a new 20-year initiative to uncover more about the origins of neurological diseases and how they occur prior to symptom onset. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"What we’re trying to achieve is gain an understanding of what happens during what we call ‘the silent period’ that precedes the clinical onset of neurological problems in patients affected by these various neurological disorders."

Led by experts Andre Machado, MD, PhD, and Imad Najm, MD, the newly announced Cleveland Clinic Brain Study will collect data from up to 200,000 neurologically healthy individuals over a 20-year period to identify brain disease biomarkers and targets for preventing and curing neurological disorders. Currently, 1 in every 6 people globally have a neurological disease such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or epilepsy, although the underlying processes driving neurological disease onset continue to be a mystery.

This longitudinal multiyear study will enlist a multidisciplinary team of physicians and scientists from across the global health system and will eventually expand past Cleveland Clinic’s main campus over time. The team will collect data points from the study volunteers, and using those, hopefully form a trend line to capture genetic risk factors and invisible molecular, structural, neuropsychological, and cognitive memory changes in the brain.

Najm, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center, believes that by identifying the changes happening prior to neurological disease onset, the opportunity for precision medicine and developing targeted therapies becomes even more feasible. In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Najm further laid out the details of the study, including the questions that still need to be answered and the targets he and his colleagues will focus in on.

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