Richard Isaacson, MD

Dr. Richard Isaacson is one of the nine 2020 WAM Research Grants Recipients, and one of the first proponents of the notion that Alzheimer’s might be a preventable disease. He first became interested in studying this disease in high school when his uncle Bob was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In all, four of his family members have been diagnosed, providing him with tremendous motivation to help find answers and new approaches to traditional thinking about Alzheimer’s and whether or not its onset can be delayed, if not prevented through lifestyle interventions. This study focuses on the increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s in women of diverse multi-cultural and genetic backgrounds with the intention to identify, test and construct precision communication plans for women of color that account for their unique racial, ethnic and cultural differences. Co-investigators in this collaborative study include Dr. Amanda Smith M.D., a geriatric psychiatrist at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL, Dr. Eseosa Ighodaro, M.D., Ph.D. a Neurology Resident and Neuroscientist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and three members of the WAM Women’s Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic Research Consortium, Dr. Juan Melendez M.D., a geriatric psychiatrist in the United Kingdom, Dr. Josefina Melendez-Cabrero, a Neuropsychologist in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the PI Dr. Richard Isaacson at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian. Dr. Ingrid Estrada Ariza and Kiarra Akiyoshi serve as Research Coordinators at Weill Cornell Medicine.


More about Dr. Richard Isaacson

Richard S. Isaacson, M.D. serves as Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic (APC), Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program, Assistant Dean of Faculty Development, and Associate Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine & NewYork-Presbyterian. He completed his residency in Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, and his medical internship at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, FL. A graduate of the accelerated 6-year B.A./M.D. program at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine, Dr. Isaacson now specializes in AD risk reduction and treatment, mild cognitive impairment due to AD and pre-clinical AD. His clinical research has shown that individualized clinical management of patients at risk for AD dementia may be an important strategy for optimizing cognitive function and reducing dementia risk. He has published novel methods on using a precision medicine approach in real-world clinical practice of AD risk reduction.

Dr. Isaacson previously served as Neurology Residency and Clerkship Director, and his career in education spans undergraduate (student), graduate (resident/fellow), and continuing (faculty) medical education, as well as patient, caregiver and community education/outreach.  He led the development of Alzheimer’s Universe ( a vast online education research portal on AD (>2 million unique visitors since 2014). With a robust clinical practice, focus on multi-domain lifestyle interventions, and broad background in computer science, m-Health, biotechnology and web-development, Dr. Isaacson is committed to using technology to optimize patient care, AD risk assessment and early intervention. The APC also studies digital biomarkers using a wearable biosensor and aims to rigorously evaluate the effects of personalized, evidence-based multi-modal interventions on cognition, serum/radiologic biomarkers of AD and calculated AD and cardiovascular risk.

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