James R. Burke, M.D., Ph.D.
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James R. Burke, M.D., Ph.D.

Phone - 919-668-5273

Appointments – 919-668-7600

Box 2900
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710

email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Professor of Medicine
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Bryan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
Department of Medicine
Division of Neurology

Research Description

My research focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders associated with dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease.  Early and accurate identification of cognitive problems is challenging, but essential for developing novel therapies to prevent dementia.  

Current work focuses on identifying individuals with normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment to participate in a wide-range of studies, including neuropsychological assessment, imaging studies, genetics, biomarker development, and clinical trials. Significant efforts are also being expended to expand the Bryan Brain Bank and Biorepository to serve as a core resource for investigators at Duke, other institutions, and in industry.  As the Medical Director of the Neurosciences Clinical Research Organization (NCRO), I oversee clinical trials in many areas of neurology and promote clinical investigation by faculty members and young investigators.

My area of expertise is clinical cognitive phenotyping and clinical trial design and execution.

MD, State University of New York, 1985

PhD, Biochemistry, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1981

Representative Publications

JA Blumenthal, PJ Smith, K Welsh-Bohmer, MA Babyak, J Browndyke, P-H Lin, PM Doraiswamy, J Burke, W Kraus, A Hinderliter, A Sherwood (2013) Can lifestyle improve neurocognition? Rationale and design of the ENLIGHTEN clinical trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials 34: 60-69.

Heinzen EL, Need AC, Hayden KM, Chiba-Falek O, Roses AD, Strittmatter WJ, Burke JR, Hulette CM, Welsh-Bohmer KA, Goldstein DB. Genome-wide scan of copy number variation in late-onset Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;19(1):69-77.

T Holsinger, BL Plassman, KM Stechuchak, JR Burke, CJ Coffman, JW Williams Jr. (2012) Screening for Cognitive Impairment: Comparing the Performance of Four Instruments in Primary Care. J. American Geriatrics Society 60: 1027-1036.

BL Plassman, JW Williams, JR Burke, T Holsinger, S Benjamin (2010) NIH State of the Science Conference: Systematic Review: Factors Associated with Risk for and Possible Prevention of Cognitive Decline in Later Life. Ann Intern Med 153:182-93.

BL Plassman, KM Langa, RJ McCammon, GG Fisher, GG Potter, JR Burke, DC Steffens, NL Foster, B Giordani, FW Unverzagt, KA Welsh-Bohmer, SG Heeringa, DR Weir, RB Wallace (2011) Incidence of dementia and cognitive impairment, not dementia in the United States. Annals Neurology 70:418-26.

Wang CS, Burke JR, Steffens DC, Hulette CM, Breitner JC, Plassman BL. Twin pairs discordant for neuropathologically confirmed Lewy body dementia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2009;80(5):562-5.