McLaughlin Institute

MRI Medical Clinic to Open in 2019

McLaughlin Research Institute eagerly anticipates the 2019 launch of the Center for Cognitive and Metabolic Wellness, the onsite clinic at MRI that will provide patient care and clinical research under the direction of Carol Bridges, MD. The clinic, a collaboration with Benefis Health System, will provide a model for speeding application of research discoveries to the patient.

The clinic will be the site of a clinical study on Alzheimer’s in collaboration with Providence Health & Services and its Chief Science Officer, Dr. Leroy Hood, a pioneering scientist and a longtime member of MRI’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

The clinic’s director, Dr. Bridges, has opened several CostCare Family Practice Walk-In Clinics in Missoula and Helena, which she created to focus on wellness and disease prevention. This innovative healthcare model is aligned with the “P4 Medicine” promoted by Leroy Hood, MD, PhD. Predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory medicine is the medicine of the future, thanks in part to Dr. Hood, who has been working toward this goal since the mapping of the human genome – a project he helped make possible – revealed genetic information that is revolutionizing medicine to predict and prevent the diseases each individual is genetically susceptible to.

Dr. Bridges has practiced medicine in Missoula for nearly 20 years. We are delighted to welcome her as Clinical Director of the Center for Cognitive and Metabolic Wellness at MRI.

Other clinicians affiliated with MRI’s new clinic include the following:

Soo Borson, MD, has been helping steer MRI in this clinical
direction for several years as a consultant. She is professor
emerita at the University of Washington, where she founded the
Memory Disorders Clinic and was a director of the Alzheimer’s
Disease Research Center for many years. She developed the
Mini-Cog, a widely used and highly regarded screening tool for
cognitive impairment and works with communities to develop
services for people with cognitive impairment.

Dennis Dietrich, MD, is a neurologist with Advanced Neurology
Specialists in Great Falls. His commitment to finding the best and
newest treatment options for his patients with cognitive
impairment, multiple sclerosis and stroke keeps him actively
involved in conducting clinical trials for new therapies.

Loretta Bolyard, PhD, is a clinical psychologist practicing
independently in Butte, Montana, where she specializes in
neuropsychology and the treatment of patients with cognitive
disorders including Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.

With this dynamic team, the Center for Cognitive and Metabolic Wellness will participate as one of several trial sites in a clinical trial run by UCLA’s Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research in collaboration with Dr. Hood’s team at Providence Health & Services.

The ultimate goal of the project is to develop approaches to prevent or delay the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Hood and others have provided preliminary data suggesting new approaches that may slow or potentially reverse the disease progression. The clinical trial will evaluate these approaches and hopefully advance them further toward widespread application.

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