Photo of Merit Ester Cudkowicz, MD

Merit Ester Cudkowicz, MD

  • Chief, Neurology Service
  • Director, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Clinic; Director, Neurological Clinical Research Institute
  • Co-Director, Neuromuscular Division

617-724-3914

Accepting New Patients

Overview

Dr. Cudkowicz is a neurologist who specializes in the care of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She is actively pursuing research to discover new treatments for people with ALS and related disorders.

Departments

Neurology

Clinical Interests
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Clinical research
  • Experimental therapeutics
Medical Education
  • MD, Harvard Medical School
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
  • Neurology
Foreign Languages
  • Italian
Locations
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Patient Gateway
Yes, learn more
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • MassHealth
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Connecticut
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - New York
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • OSW - Vermont
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group
Adult
Gender
Female

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Biography

Dr. Merit Cudkowicz is the Julianne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cudkowicz completed medical training at the Health Science and Technology program of Harvard Medical School, and she was a resident in Neurology at Mass General. She obtained a Master's degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Cudkowicz's research and clinical activities are dedicated to the study and treatment of patients with neurodegenerative disorders, in particular amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dr. Cudkowicz directs the Mass General ALS clinic and the Neurological Clinical Research Institute (NCRI) (formerly the NCTU). She is one of the founders and co-directors of the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS), a group of 92 clinical sites in the United States and Canada dedicated to performing collaborative academic led clinical trials in ALS. In conjunction with the NEALS consortium, she planned and completed seven multi-center clinical trials in ALS and is currently leading three new trials in ALS. Dr. Cudkowicz received the American Academy of Neurology 2009 Sheila Essay ALS award. She is actively mentoring young neurologists in clinical investigation. Dr. Cudkowicz is on the Research Council of the American Acadenmy of Neurology and the medical advisory board for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

My research activities are dedicated to the study and treatment of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's Disease (HD). I design human clinical trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of therapies that have shown promise in preclinical studies. I built a neurology clinical trial unit and also formed an international consortium to test novel therapies in ALS, the Northeast ALS (NEALS) consortium. The NEALS consortium consists of 92 clinical sites in the United States and Canada dedicated to performing joint academic led clinical trials in ALS. We completed seven multi-center clinical trials in ALS. We are leading three new trials in ALS, ceftriaxone, KNS 760704 and a an antisense oligonucleotide to superoxide dismutase (SOD1) in people with familial SOD1 ALS. There is a critical need in neurology for highly trained clinical investigators who work collaboratively with basic scientists to develop new therapeutic strategies. In collaboration with Drs. Ravina, I was awarded a contract from the NINDS to create a training course in Clinical Trial Methods for neurologists.

E-mail: mcudkowicz@partners.org

Publications

Cudkowicz ME, Shefner JM, Simpson E, Grasso D, Yu H, Zhang H, Shui A, Schoenfeld D, Brown RH, Wieland S, Barber JR and the Northeast ALS Consortium. Arimoclomol at dosages up to 300 mg/day is well tolerated and safe in ALS. Muscle and Nerve 2008;38 (1):837-44.

Cudkowicz ME, Andres PL, Macdonald SA, et al. Phase 2 study of sodium phenylbutyrate in ALS. Amyotroph Lateral Scler 2009;10 (2):99-106.

Aggarwal S, Zinman, L, Simpson E, McKinley J, Jackson KE, Pinto H, Conwit RA, Schoenfeld D, Shefner J, Cudkowicz M and the Northeast ALS and Canadian ALS Consortia Clinical Trial Testing Lithium in ALS Terminates Early for Futility. Lancet Neurology 2010: In Press.

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News & Events

Multimedia

  • Respiratory Assistance Video

    A video for ALS patients discussing and demonstrating uses of bipap and cough assist machines.

  • Neurology Bicentennial Celebration, 2011 Part II

    Neurology Bicentennial Celebration, October 13, 2011. Clinical and research presentations on ALS, Stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease

  • Ceftriaxone Trial Video

    A video explaining the design and scientific rationale behind the Clinical Trial of Ceftriaxone in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

  • The Clinical Trial of Ceftriaxone in ALS

    A webinar recording explaining the design and scientific rationale behind the Clinical Trial of Ceftriaxone in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Contact

Neurology Associates
15 Parkman Street
Boston MA, 02114-3117
Phone 1: 617-724-3914
Fax: 617-726-5346

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