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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.
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Dr. Merit Cudkowicz is the Julieanne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Chief of Neurology Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Cudkowicz’s research and clinical activities are dedicated to the study and treatment of people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Dr. Cudkowicz directs the MGH ALS Program and the MGH Neurological Clinical Research Institute. She is one of the founders and former co-directors of the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS), a group of over 100 clinical sites in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East dedicated to performing collaborative academic led clinical trials and research studies in ALS. In conjunction with the NEALS consortium, she planned and completed over 15 multi-center clinical research studies s in ALS. She is Principal Investigator of the Clinical Coordination Center for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s Neurology Network of Excellence in Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT). The NeuroNEXT network is an efficient phase II network to develop innovative and new treatments for people with neurological disorders.Dr. Cudkowicz received the American Academy of Neurology 2009 Sheila Essay ALS award. She is a pioneer in promoting and developing more efficient methods of developing new therapies for people with ALS. A dedicated educator, Dr. Cudkowicz mentors many young neurologists in clinical investigation of ALS and related neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Cudkowicz completed her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and obtained a medical degree in the Health Science and Technology program of Harvard Medical School. She served her internship at Beth Israel Hospital in New York and her neurology residency and fellowship at MGH. She also obtained a master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.
My research activities are dedicated to the study and treatment of patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other neurological disorders. As Director of the MGH Neurological Clinical Research Institute and the Principal Investigator for the NINDS supported NeuroNEXT Clinical Coordinating center (www.neuronext.org), I help design human clinical trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of therapies that have shown promise in preclinical studies. In ALS, I co-founded an international consortium to test novel therapies in ALS, the Northeast ALS (NEALS) consortium. The NEALS consortium consists of over 100 clinical sites in the United States and Canada dedicated to performing joint academic led clinical trials in ALS. We completed several multi-center clinical trials in ALS. We are leading several new trials in ALS. There is a critical need in neurology for highly trained clinical investigators who work collaboratively with basic scientists to develop new therapeutic strategies. Through NeuroNEXT, I help investigators design clinical trials and learn how to lead multicenter clinical research studies.
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.
Leaders of the MGH Interdisciplinary Brain Center and Neuroscience Institute shared their progress toward understanding, treating and preventing brain disorders at the 12th annual Phillips Society luncheon.
MGH patient and Florida resident brings ALS care to his home state through gift.
The Northeast ALS Consortium, co-founded by Massachusetts General Hospital researcher Merit Cudkowicz, MD, has spurred basic and translational research that has led to investigational therapies and improved patient outcomes.
The MGH Neurological Clinical Research Institute and Prize4Life, an organization dedicated to accelerating discovery of treatments and a cure for ALS, received a Best Practices Award at the 2013 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo for their creation of PRO-ACT ,the largest database of information from ALS clinical trials and patient care.
The initial clinical trial of a novel approach to treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – blocking production of a mutant protein that causes an inherited form of the progressive neurodegenerative disease – may be a first step towards a new era in the treatment of such disorders.
The 15th Annual Women in Medicine Month Celebration on Sept. 20 featured a keynote lecture by Merit Cudkowicz, MD, chief of Neurology.
THE MGH WILL WELCOME new chiefs for the Department of Neurology and the Department of Urology later this spring.
Treatment with dexpramipexole – a novel drug believed to prevent dysfunction of mitochondria, the subcellular structures that provide most of a cell's energy – appears to slow symptom progression in the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease.
A video for ALS patients discussing and demonstrating uses of bipap and cough assist machines.
Neurology Bicentennial Celebration, October 13, 2011. Clinical and research presentations on ALS, Stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease
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.
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.
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