Barry Reisberg, MD
(United States), Past President
Barry Reisberg became President of IPA in 1997, having served as an officer and member of the Board of Directors since 1985. A geriatric psychiatrist, he is Professor of Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine, Clinical Director of the NYU Aging and Dementia Research Center, and Director of the Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Resources Program at NYU.
Prior to beginning medical training, he was awarded a Japan Society fellowship, enabling him to study at Jochi (Sophia) University in Tokyo. While in medical school in New York, he worked at a rural hospital in Nigeria and traveled widely to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Haiti. He also did a behavior therapy fellowship at the Middlesex Hospital of the University of London.
Dr. Reisberg’s Global Deterioration Scale (GDS) and Functional Assessment Staging Scale (FAST) described the clinical course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in unprecedented detail. He also systematically described and developed measures for many of the Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD). These descriptions helped lead to improved treatments for these symptoms. Additionally, he directed research demonstrating, for the first time, residual thinking abilities in the latter half of AD and potentially remediable physical changes in several AD patients, as well as the nature of fundamental pathologic brain changes in severe AD.
Dr. Reisberg has also directed research that elucidated many of the fundamental neurologic changes in AD, including specific neurologic reflex markers of the advent of incontinence in the course of the disease. At the other end of the severity spectrum, Dr. Reisberg has improved knowledge of the boundaries of normal aging and AD, and identified culture independent neuromotor markers of the onset of AD. In recent years, Dr. Reisberg noted that the stages of AD can be translated into developmental ages (DA). These DAs can explain the behavioral symptoms, management needs, and overall care needs of the AD patient. This phenomenon, termed retrogenesis, can also explain many of the physiologic and pathologic symptoms of AD. Retrogenesis has also resulted in a new science of AD management, which can potentially greatly improve the care received by AD patients.
As chairman of IPA’s Research Awards Committee Dr. Reisberg has been very involved with the prestigious IPA Research Awards in Psychogeriatrics since their inception. Since 1989 he has also headed IPA’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, which has organized various activities including meetings on methodology of drug trials in AD (1994) and diagnosis of AD (1996).
Dr. Reisberg has served on the Board of Directors of the American Aging Association and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, and on both the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association and the Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel of Alzheimer’s Disease International. He has also served on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Conferences on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders. He is adjunct professor at the Center for Studies in Aging of the McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, Canada. In addition, he has been a merit reviewer of research grants for the U.S. National Institutes of Health and a research grant reviewer for other U.S., Canadian, and European agencies.
An editorial board member for seven medical and scientific journals, he is the author of A Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease and editor of the reference textbook, Alzheimer’s Disease, and has authored or co-authored more than 200 scientific papers in geriatrics, psychopharmacology, neuroscience and related areas. He has directed U.S. National Institutes of Health-supported research for more than 20 years, and has received numerous grants and awards from governmental, foundation, industrial and other sources.
He can be contacted at Barry.Reisberg@med.nyu.edu