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Stephen Read, MD

ACADEMICS and RESEARCH

Dr. Read maintains an active academic and research dimension to his career as a clinical Geriatric Psychiatrist. Psychiatry is the latest-developing (and probably most misunderstood) area of medicine, but the pace of the exciting growth of our understanding about the mind and the nervous system continue to provide new insights that improve our approach to difficult clinical problems. Dr. Read considers it critical, therefore, to remain abreast of the frontiers of our knowledge as well as to contribute to the education of the next generation of psychiatrists and other physicians and health care workers.

Dr. Read is an active member of the clinical teaching faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine, where he is currently Associate Clinical Professor. Dr. Read is able to transmit his understanding of the complexities of geriatric psychiatric problems to physicians in training at all levels, as well as non-physician health care workers and to lay audiences.

In 1979, when Dr. Read began his residency training, Alzheimer's Disease, which had been considered a rare condition, was just becoming recognized in the scientific community as an impending public health catastrophe. By 1984, the year Dr. Read finished his fellowship training, Alzheimer's was recognized as "the Disease of the Century." Not surprisingly, then, the various aspects of Alzheimer's Disease have been the major focus of Dr. Read's research efforts; he has made contributions to our understanding of clinical aspects, treatment, pathology, and functional neuro-imaging of Alzheimer's Disease (AD); specific highlights include:

  1. Intraventricular bethanechol: This intensive dose-response study helped confirm the utility of cholinergic replacement therapy to mitigate the dementia of AD (see e.g, references 13 and 15 in Dr. Read's CV).
  2. SPECT imaging diagnosis of dementia: Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) is a widely-available technique; Dr. Read's collaboration with Drs. Ismael Mena and Bruce Miller (then of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center) pioneered the validation of functional brain imaging for the diagnosis of AD and in distinguishing AD from other causes of cognitive impairment. This work is summarized in reference 20.
  3. Brain pathology: In association with Dr. Harry Vinters (UCLA Department of Pathology), studies of biopsy and autopsy specimens has furthered the understanding of tissue abnormalities in AD and other dementing illnesses, particularly the role of amyloid deposition (references 19, 20, and 23).
  4. Most recently Dr. Read has returned to an early focus on types of capacity and competence in patients with AD and other clinical disorders. He has developed experience in the areas of capacity, undue influence, and the vulnerability to abuse. This focus has resulted in a paper on Capacity to Marry as well as an invitation in 1999 to address the California Senate Committee on Aging (Chair: Senator Teresa Hughes) on the subject of financial abuse in the elderly. Dr. Read was also quoted in Time magazine (limited edition, September 3, 2001) on the subject of protecting elders at risk for abuse.

Dr. Read has published more than forty articles and chapters in peer-reviewed and other journals and texts. Although his main area of concentration has been Alzheimer's Disease, the spectrum includes other causes of cognitive impairment (frontal lobe and sub-cortical dementias, stroke, prion disease, hydrocephalus), depression, and psychiatric aspects of other disorders such as Parkinson's Disease, Cortico-basilar degeneration, and TTP (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura). These efforts have fostered a multi-dimensional understanding of disease, function, and expression of Alzheimer's Disease as well as the differential effects of AD and other disease processes on patients and families.

Please return to the main page or click on the links above and below for information on other aspects of Dr. Read's work or to contact him.


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