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Seeking the Earliest Signs of Alzheimer’s

The son of two medical doctors in northwestern Turkey, Murat Bilgel (Turkey, UWC-USA, Johns Hopkins ’11) earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins, and is now a research fellow at the National Institute on Aging in Washington, D.C.

“My research makes use of state-of-the-art brain-imaging techniques to understand the contributions of neurodegeneration (brain atrophy, reduced neural activity) and neuropathology (amyloid plaques and tau tangles) to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease prior to the onset of clinical symptoms,” Murat writes. “I develop statistical methods to characterize the temporal evolution of these brain changes, with the goal of identifying the earliest changing brain regions in the Alzheimer’s pathway, and to perform disease staging at temporal evolution of brain changes.

“As clinical trials for Alzheimer’s are moving to earlier stages of the disease,” he adds, “my hope is that my research will offer new strategies for participant recruitment, trial design, and outcome evaluation for future Alzheimer’s trials.” Murat contributed these thoughts in a personal capacity; his views do not necessarily represent those of the National Institutes of Health or the U.S. government.