Retrospective cohort study of opioid use disorder and neurocognitive disease
Aims: The aim of this study is to measure the association between opioid exposure and subsequent neurocognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's.
Scientific Rationale: The post-mortem brains of heroin users show hallmarks of neurodegenerative disease such as amyloid plaques and tau protein. With this biological connection, I hypothesize that opioid consumption is a risk factor for neurocognitive disease, and population-level clinical data can help determine whether this connection is real.
Expected Duration of the Project: The project is expected to last six months.
Public Health Impact: The opioid epidemic is one of the most significant public health crises in the United States and many other countries. If opioid consumption is a risk factor for neurocognitive disease, this would be very valuable knowledge for the public and the medical community to have, and impact the discourse on medication-assisted therapy for opioid use disorder, given that these treatments typically consist of other opioid drugs.