Leading Neuroscientist at FAU Available as Expert on Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Forms of Dementia
Every 67 seconds someone is the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia. It’s the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and it’s the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.
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By gisele-galoustian | 6/15/2015Every 67 seconds someone is the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia. It’s the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and it’s the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. This month, as the nation observes “Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month,” James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., one of the most prominent neuroscientists in the country, is at the helm of cutting-edge research, screening methods and clinical care for all forms of dementia and cognitive impairments as well as neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Galvin is a professor of clinical biomedical science in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and a professor in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. He also serves as the associate dean for clinical research in the Schmidt College of Medicine and medical director of the Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center at FAU.
Prior to joining FAU, Galvin held concurrent positions at New York University, including professor of neurology and psychiatry and professor of population health at the NYU Langone School of Medicine; professor of nutrition and public health at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development; and professor of nursing at the NYU College of Nursing.
Galvin is one of the leading international experts on “Lewy Body disease” (LBD) where patients simultaneously experience losses in cognitive function, mobility and behavior. LBD is the second-most-common degenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. LBD affects more than 1.3 million Americans, but is poorly recognized and diagnosis is often significantly delayed. Former celebrity Robin Williams also had this form of dementia, which can cause visual hallucinations and make depression worse. Galvin has been working to improve clinical detections by combining biomarkers including high density EEG, functional and structural MRI, PET scans and CSF biomarkers to characterize and differentiate LBD from healthy aging and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Galvin has led efforts to develop a number of dementia screening tools, including the AD8, a brief informant interview to translate research findings to community settings. He has done cross-cultural validation of dementia screening methods in comparison with Gold Standard clinical evaluations and biomarker assays. His team also has developed sophisticated statistical models to explore transition points in clinical, cognitive, functional, behavioral and biological markers of disease in healthy aging, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
“These can be devastating diseases,” Galvin said. “We’re working on how to detect the diseases as early as possible, make the most accurate diagnoses, and initiate treatment at first sign of detection. That’s how we can do the most for people suffering from these diseases.”
Galvin also has generated millions of dollars in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alzheimer Association, Michael J. Fox Foundation, local and state Departments of Health, and private foundations.