Memory and Cognitive Health

kathleen welsh-bohmer
Kathleen Welsh-Bohmer, PhD, ABCN

Goal: This study improves our understanding of the role of aging in changes to memory and thinking. Data from this study may be used in future research investigating Alzheimer’s disease.

Principal Investigator: Kathleen Welsh-Bohmer, PhD of the Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Duke University and Dr. Allen Roses of the Deane Drug Discovery Institute at Duke University.

Study Details: The MURDOCK Memory and Cognitive Health Study study reached 107 percent of its enrollment goal, with more than 1,500 total baseline visits completed by volunteer participants, age 55 or older, between May 2011 and May 2013. They were given tests to assess attention and concentration, executive functions, memory, language, visual skills, conceptual thinking, calculations, and orientation. Follow-up visits were performed at least two years after initial enrollment. Researchers are currently analyzing 789 serum samples that were collected during this study.

Visit Requirements: Blood sample; brief cognitive assessment and memory tests; medical questionnaire regarding changes in memory.

Study Information: A rich resource of memory and cognitive health data from more than 1,500 participants with a large specimen bank is now available. For instance, a project called the PREPARE study (Prevention Screening Study & Database/Repository) is being conducted in the Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (Bryan ADRC) at Duke under the leadership of center director, Dr. Kathleen Welsh-Bohmer. The PREPARE study has more than 1,300 diverse participants available for studies related to AD with an already established repository of health information and blood samples. An additional project involves the Bryan ADRC and collaborators in Tomsk, Russia with a similar cohort resulting in another large registry, repository, and data set.

When they enrolled, MURDOCK Memory and Cognitive Health Study participants underwent neurocognitive testing with three instruments that assess verbal memory:


Bryan ADRC


Alzheimer’s NC – or (919) 832-3732 or (800) 228-8738

Alzheimer’s Association – or (800) 272-3900

Family Support Program at Duke University – (800) 672-4213

Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center –


              1. Hayden KM,  Makeeva OA, Newby LK,  Plassman BL, Markova VV, Dunham A, Romero HR, Melikyan ZA, Germain CM, Welsh-Bohmer KA, Roses A. A Comparison of Neuropsychological Performance Between US and Russia: Preparing for a Global Clinical Trial. Alzheimers Dement. 2014 Nov;10(6):760-8.
              2. Romero HR, Welsh-Bohmer KA, Gwyther LP, Edmonds HL, Plassma B, Germain C, McCart M, Hayden KM, Pieper C, Roses AD. Community engagement in diverse populations for Alzheimer’s disease prevention trials. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2014 Jul-Sep;28(3):269-74.


MURDOCK study and more