Course Title: Symposium 1 - Strategies for Staving off Dementia - A Dynamic Conversation (Dotson)

Credit Hours: 0

Instructor(s) Vonetta Dotson; Glenn Smith; Sarah Garcia

Chair: Vonetta Dotson, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology and Gerontology
Georgia State University
Senior Project Scientist
Founder and President
CerebroFit Integrated Brain Health

Invited Symposium 1:

Strategies for Staving off Dementia - A Dynamic Conversation


"How can I lower my risk for Alzheimer's disease?" If you are a clinical neuropsychologist working with older adults, you likely hear some form of this question from many of your patients. Without a cure for Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, neuropsychologists increasingly focus on behavioral strategies to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. A growing body of evidence supports the role of healthy lifestyle behaviors in dementia prevention, including exercise, cognitive and social engagement, nutrition, and sleep. In this symposium, three experts in dementia prevention will have a dynamic conversation centered around the question, "If you could only recommend one behavioral strategy to stave off cognitive decline or improve cognitive functioning, what would it be?" The session will include an overview by each presenter of their work in dementia prevention, a conversation among the presenters about their answer to the central question of the symposium, and a time for Q & A with the audience.

Chair's Biography:

Dr. Vonetta Dotson is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Gerontology at Georgia State University, Senior Project Scientist at NASA (KBR), and Founder and President of CerebroFit Integrated Brain Health. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association's Society for Clinical Neuropsychology. She completed her doctoral training in clinical psychology at the University of Florida with a specialization in neuropsychology and a certificate in gerontology. She completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program. Her research and clinical activities focus on positive and negative modifiers of brain health, including the intersection of depression with cognitive and brain aging, and the impact of health disparities on brain health.

Sarah Garcia, PhD
Dr. Sarah Garcia is a licensed psychologist with a specialization in geriatric neuropsychology. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Kent State University and completed her pre-doctoral internship in neuropsychology at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA Medical Center and her post-doctoral fellowship in geriatric neuropsychology at the University of Michigan Medical Center and Ann Arbor VA Consortium. Dr. Garcia currently holds a faculty position at Stetson University, and studies non-pharmacological interventions for cognitive decline in medical and psychiatric populations. Her past research has examined cognitive deficits in a wide variety of populations (e.g. heart failure, bariatric surgery candidates, and dementia) as well as the use of exercise, sleep, and electrical stimulation as potential preventative and treatment approaches.
Glenn Smith, PhD
Dr. Glenn Smith is Chair and Elizabeth Faulk Professor of the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. He is Associate Director of the 1FL Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Dr. Smith is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist. He has authored or co-authored over 200 original articles, 14 book chapters and 2 books. He is the originator and director of HABIT® Healthy Action to Benefit Independence and Thinking program for persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment. He was principal investigator of the Comparative Effectiveness of Behavioral Interventions to Prevent of Delay Dementia trial and co-PI of the Alzheimer’s Disease Patient and Caregiver Powered Research Network projects funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. He is past president of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology and of the Society for Clinical Neuropsychology of the American Psychological Association (APA) and past chair of the APA Committee on Aging. He is currently Member-at-Large for the International Neuropsychological Society Board of Governors. He is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. In his 25 years at Mayo he held many positions including Chair of the Division of Neurocognitive Disorders; Associate Director of Education, Center for Clinical and Translation Science; Co-Deputy Director of Education, Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Nebraska (1988), completed his internship in neuro and geropsychology at UCLA and a fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the Mayo Clinic (1991-1994).