Nancy Donovan was recognized for her contributions to the field of Psychiatry at the 2021 American Psychiatric Association meeting – Finding Equity Through Advances in Mind & Brain in Unsettled Times. Distinguished fellows are nationally recognized for their demonstrated skill in administrative, educational and clinical settings. They are also noted for volunteering in mental health and medical activities of social significance and involvement in community activities. Excellence, not mere competence, is the hallmark of an APA distinguished fellow.
Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neurology: Principles and Practice is a clinically-oriented textbook that aims to link rapid advances in basic, cognitive, and affective neuroscience with the care of patients struggling with losses that often involve their most cherished human capacities. The work was inspired by an annual Harvard Medical School course on the same topic that the editors and their colleagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital initiated in 2014.
Read Dr. Donovan’s chapter on the Neuropsychiatry of Alzheimer’s Disease here.
Dr. Donovan presents her research, titled “Social disconnection in older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions” at the NIMH Social Disconnection and Suicide Workshop on September, 17th 2020.
Dr. Donovan’s talk can be viewed in the Youtube video (below) starting at 49:00.
While there may not be any biomarkers for loneliness, there is an association between loneliness and Alzheimer’s disease, according to Dr. Nancy Donovan. Read the article here.
National Academy Committee releases report on social isolation and loneliness in older adults. Download report here.
Using data from the Harvard Aging Brain Study, Kelsey Biddle et al. found that being widowed was associated with accelerated beta-amyloid-related cognitive decline over three years. Cognitively unimpaired, widowed older adults were especially susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease progression, emphasizing the need for increased research attention and informed interventions for this vulnerable group. [Article] [CNN Article]
Using data from the Harvard Aging Brain Study, Kelsey Biddle and colleagues found that low social engagement is associated with worsening cognition in older adults who are cognitively normal but have neuroimaging evidence of Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiologic change. These findings emphasize the importance of social engagement as a resilience or vulnerability marker in older adults at risk of cognitive impairment due to AD and support recommendations promoting social engagement in older adults. [Article]
NeAR’s neuroimaging research assistant, Fred d’Oleire Uquillas and colleagues have identified an association between right enthorhinal tau pathology and greater feelings of loneliness in cognitively normal older adults. The results of this paper provide further support for loneliness as a socioemotional symptom in preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease. [Article]
Dr. Nancy Donovan joins the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee to address the health and medical dimensions of social isolation and loneliness in older adults. This committee will examine how social isolation and loneliness impact health outcomes in older adults aged 50 and older, particularly among low income, underserved, and vulnerable populations. [Article]