Merit E. Cudkowicz, MD, MSc
Julieanne Dorn Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Chief, Neurology Service, Massachusetts General Hospital
Director, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital
New Treatments for ALS and Huntington’s Disease

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative diseases that impacts at any one time approximately 3-5 people per 100,000 and is characterized by muscle weakness, atrophy and stiffness. Speech, breathing and limb strength are often affected.

The MGH Neurological Clinical Research Institute is dedicated to the study and development of treatment for people with ALS and other neurological disorders. At the NIH supported phase II clinical trial network called NeuroNEXT, through expertise in trial design and conduct and development of biomarkers, we hope to accelerate the development of new treatments for the many people throughout the world who have brain or spine disorders.

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 institie and also formed 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 many multi-center clinical trials in ALS. We are leading several new trials in ALS including retigabine, RNS60, ibudilast and others. There is a critical need in neurology for highly trained clinical investigators who work collaboratively with basic scientists to develop new therapeutic strategies. I am actively involved in training young investigators in experimental therapeutics.