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Approved Research

Retrospective cohort study of opioid use disorder and neurocognitive disease

Principal Investigator: Dr Yasmin Hurd
Approved Research ID: 96335
Approval date: January 30th 2023

Lay summary

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.