Brilliant minds

Photo by Tracy Walsh Photography
Dr. Anne Murray / Photo by Tracy Walsh Photography

We live in an amazing city!

Not only is our region home to a collection of incredible Fortune 500 companies, Minneapolis-St. Paul also boasts an astonishing array of health-care services — and brilliant medical minds, making new discoveries through painstaking study and research.

That includes top researchers at the University of Minnesota, such as Dr. Karen Ashe, a world-renowned expert on Alzheimer’s disease, who has found a way to reverse memory loss in lab mice. Her findings indicate that it may be possible for the brain to repair itself, even after signs of memory loss have already appeared!

Ashe — whose findings were recently chronicled in the Star Tribune — isn’t the only one making major research strides in dementia research, however.

This month, I’m positively in awe of our Cover Star, Dr. Anne Murray — a longtime geriatrician, internist and epidemiologist, who’s spent decades specializing in dementia care and research.

Educated at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Mayo Clinic and Harvard University, Murray isn’t just an admired physician (a perennial “top doctor”), she’s also an internationally recognized medical researcher.

And she’s made discoveries of her own — thanks to years of research and work on multiple studies — including the fact that people with advanced kidney problems are at greater risk of suffering from dementia.

“Our results could end up changing the way kidney patients are treated for memory loss,” Murray said.

That’s huge news for the 3 million people with advanced chronic kidney disease in the U.S. — and another 5 million with a mild form of the disease.

What’s more? Murray is also just … kind.

Her patients appreciate her tenderness. And Murray says she’s found patient-focused research to be as valuable (if not more valuable) than mere medical records data.

“You can’t do real dementia research without seeing the patients,” she said, adding later: “I love geriatrics. I love taking care of older people because of how much I learn from them. They have wonderful stories and an appreciation of life you don’t see elsewhere.”

Indeed, that sounds like a top doctor to me.