Serial Assessments Used in Groundbreaking Brain Study: Imad Najm, MD


The director of Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center at the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute provided perspective on the in-depth testing neurologically healthy patients in the Brain Study will undergo. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"Regarding the brain and its function, we do a neurological exam–a traditional one­–and then we conduct a digitized exam on some function, fine movements, tremor, and gait. We do more objective tests such as neuropsychological testing to look at the whole cognitive function."

One in every 6 people in the world has a neurological disease such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, or epilepsy. Although management of these conditions has improved, understanding the roots of how they form continues to be a challenge for the clinical community. Launched in 2022, the Cleveland Clinic Brain Study will collect data from up to 200,000 neurologically healthy participants for up to 20 years to identify points when changes in the body and brain begin to occur.

Slightly more than a year later, investigators from Cleveland Clinic, led by Imad Najm, MD, presented early preliminary data of the cohort at the 2023 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, held April 22-27, in Boston, Massachusetts. The study is nearing 1000 individuals enrolled, with some already beginning to develop changes such as memory loss, increased white matter, and early signs of MS, among others. Najm, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center at the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute, has been comforted by the incidence rates of these changes are on par with previous historical data.

Prior to his presentation, Najm sat down with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to detail some of the assessments used in the study, and the significance of capturing a wide range of data. He spoke specifically about newer techniques such as optical coherence tomography, polysomnogram, and neuropsychological testing, that will play a role in learning about the early activity in patients who develop neurological diseases.

Click here for more coverage of AAN 2023.

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