Davangere P. Devanand, MBBS, MD
Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated
- Professor of Psychiatry (in Neurology and in the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center) at CUMC
- Director of Geriatric Psychiatry
Dr. Davangere P. Devanand is the Director of Geriatric Psychiatry and a Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center. Further, Dr. Devanand is an attending psychiatrist at both the New York State Psychiatric Institute and New York Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Devanand is the co-founder of the Memory Disorders Center, where the goal is to evaluate, treat, and follow patients who have mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, and related disorders. Clinical research studies, including treatment and investigational studies (e.g., PET, MRI and CSF studies) funded primarily by NIH and secondarily by industry, are conducted with patients (and controls).
Dr. Devanand obtained his medical degree from Christian Medical College in Vellore, India. He then completed his psychiatry residency training from S.U.N.Y. Upstate Medical Center as well as Yale University School of Medicine, where he was Chief Resident. Following his residency, Dr. Devanand completed research fellowships in the Division of Biological Psychiatry and then in Clinical Neuroscience, both at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. At present, in addition to the roles indicated above, Dr. Devanand serves as a research mentor for faculty, post-doctoral fellows, psychiatry residents, and graduate students at Columbia University Medical Center.
Dr. Devanand is currently on four editorial boards, including the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinsonism, American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, and International Psychogeriatrics. He has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, many of which have been published in leading journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Annals of Neurology, Neurology, Archives of General Psychiatry, and the American Journal of Psychiatry. Dr. Devanand has also authored and co-authored three books which are entitled, The Interface between Depression and Dementia (Roose & Devanand, 1998), Treatment of Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (Devanand & Lawlor, 2000), and The Memory Program (Devanand, 2001).
He has received several prestigious awards, including the International Psychogeriatrics Association Research Award (1991), the Indo-American Psychiatric Association Distinguished Scientist Award (2000), the American Psychiatric Association Jack Weinberg Memorial Award in Geriatric Psychiatry (2014), the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry Distinguished Investigator Award (2015), and the American College of Psychiatrists Award for Research in Geriatric Psychiatry (2017).
Dr. Devanand is also well-known in the field for his research on mild cognitive impairment, depression, ECT, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and agitation and aggression within these disorders. In fact, his studies have been funded by grants awarded from the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, Alzheimer’s Association, NARSAD, and the Dana Foundation. More specifically, his research has aided in the diagnosis and treatment of dysthymic disorder among elderly participants, as well as the relationship between depression and cognitive impairment in the same patient demographic. His research has also been remarkable in detecting biological indicators of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as exploring treatment options for those experiencing psychosis and agitation in this disease.
Further, Dr. Devanand has conducted several treatment trials, including the landmark study on antipsychotic discontinuation in Alzheimer’s disease, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr. Devanand has remained active clinically as a psychiatrist throughout his career and has been on the New York and U.S. Best Doctors lists for over a decade. Dr. Devanand has been interviewed and his research findings have been featured in several media outlets including CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and online via Reuters, AP, Medscape, and several other online publications.
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- Behavioral Health Columbia University Employee Plan
Credentials & Experience
Education & Training
- State University of New York
- Residency: State University of New York - Downstate Medical Center
- Residency: Yale University Hospital
- Geriatric Psychiatry
Honors & Awards
2001 Distinguished Scientist Award, Indo-American Psychiatric Association
2003-present: listed in Best Doctors in America, Best Doctors in New York
2014 American Psychiatric Association Jack Weinberg Memorial Award in Geriatric Psychiatry
2015 American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry Distinguished Investigator Award
Research interests include treatment strategies for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease, including treatment of psychosis and agitation in these disorders. Other interests include early diagnostic markers of Alzheimer's disease, and the interface between depression and cognitive impairment.
Anti-viral therapy in Alzheimer’s disease PI: Dr. Davangere Devanand, MD
Anti-viral therapy in Alzheimer’s disease is investigating the efficacy of treating patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) with the U.S.A marketed generic antiviral drug valacyclovir. Valacyclovir at 2g to 4g daily, repurposed as an anti-AD drug, is being compared to matching placebo in the treatment of 130 mild AD patients (65 valacyclovir, 65 placebo) who test positive for herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV1) or herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV2). The study is a randomized, double-blind, 18-month Phase II proof of concept trial. This study is funded by the NIH.
For more information, please contact Julianna Pollina at 646-774-8638.
Cognitive Training in Mild Cognitive Impairment PI: Dr. Davangere Devanand, MD
The purpose of this study is to evaluate if systematic cognitive training can improve cognitive performance in participants (ages 55-95 years) with memory loss. This study is evaluating the effects of Computerized Cognitive Training (CCT) for improvement in everyday cognitive and function status, in addition to long-term changes in brain networks over an 18- month period. Although there is no distribution of medication for this study, participants are required to have an at-home computer. This study is funded by the NIH.
For more information, please contact Hannah Cohen at 646-774-7202.
Treatment of Psychosis and Agitation in Alzheimer’s disease PI: Dr. Davangere Devanand, MD
This study involves a 12-week double-blind treatment trial in which adult outpatients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) who have agitation/aggression with or without psychosis (hallucinations or delusions) will receive either low-dose lithium or placebo. Participants are allowed to receive other specific psychiatric medications if needed during the study, and will be closely monitored by physicians who specialize in memory disorders. Participants will receive open treatment with lithium, if clinically indicated, after completing the 12-week double blind trial. This study is funded by the NIH.
For more information, please contact Laura Simon-Pearson at 646-774-8671.
Escitalopram for Agitation in Alzheimer’s disease PI: Dr. Davangere Devanand, MD
This study involves a 12-week double-blind treatment trial in which adult outpatients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) who have agitation/aggression may receive escitalopram or placebo in combination with a psychosocial intervention. Participants will be closely monitored by physicians who specialize in memory disorders. After completing the 12-week double blind trial, participants will receive open treatment with Escitalopram for 12 weeks, if clinically indicated. This study is funded by the NIH.
For more information, please contact Laura Simon-Pearson at 646-774-8671.
Testing Olfaction in Primary Care to detect Alzheimer's disease and other Dementias (TOPAD)
Dr. Devanand and Dr. Jose Luchsinger, MD are multiple PIs on this project. The goal of this project is to test the 12-item BSIT, a short, standardized version of the 40-item University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), for detection of dementia among elderly persons with cognitive concerns in a community-based primary care setting, in response to PAR-15-359 (Novel Approaches to Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease and Predicting Progression), and its second aim: “Identifying new biomarkers that are minimally invasive, inexpensive, usable in community settings”.
Olfactory Impairment in Offspring Study of Racial Disparities in Alzheimer's disease
We plan to test the 12-item BSIT, a short, standardized, cross-culturally validated subset of the 40-item University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), in an add-on study to the recently funded project “Offspring study of mechanisms for racial disparities in Alzheimer's disease." Middle-aged offspring (ages 40-64) of parents who participated in the Washington Heights Inwood Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP) are being studied with clinical and neuropsychological evaluation (n=3,000), high-resolution structural MRI (n=1,000), and Aβ PET (n=150).
- Neuropsychiatry/Cognitive Disorders
- Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline
“Treatment of Psychosis and Agitation in Alzheimer’s disease”: 5/15/2014-1/31/2020.
TAU PET IMAGING IN RACIALLY/ETHNICALLY DIVERSE MIDDLE AGED ADULTS (Federal Gov)
Sep 1 2018 - Jun 30 2023
NEUROANATOMICAL ASSOCIATIONS WITH THE FACTOR STRUCTURE UNDERLYING NEUROPSYCHIATRIC SYMPTOMS IN ALZHEIMER S DISEASE (Federal Gov)
Sep 30 2018 - May 31 2023
OLFACTORY IMPAIRMENT IN OFFSPRING STUDY OF RACIAL DISPARITIES IN ALZHEIMERS DISEASE (Federal Gov)
Sep 1 2018 - May 31 2023
TESTING OLFACTION IN PRIMARY CARE TO DETECT ALZHEIMER S DISEASE AND OTHER DEMENTIAS (TOPAD) (Federal Gov)
Sep 30 2017 - May 31 2022
ANTI-VIRAL THERAPY IN ALZHEIMER S DISEASE (Federal Gov)
Sep 15 2017 - May 31 2022
PREDICTORS OF SEVERITY IN ALZHEIMER S DISEASE (Federal Gov)
Jun 15 2017 - May 31 2022
COGNITIVE TRAINING AND NEUROPLASTICITY IN MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT (Federal Gov)
Jul 15 2017 - Apr 30 2022
OLFACTORY DEFICITS AND DONEPEZIL TREATMENT IN COGNITIVELY IMPAIRED ELDERLY (Federal Gov)
Jun 15 2013 - May 31 2019
LOW-DOSE LITHIUM FOR THE TREATMENT OF BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS IN FTD (Private)
Apr 1 2016 - Mar 31 2017
CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN ALZHEIMER DISEASE (NYS) (NY State Gov)
Jul 1 2016 - Feb 28 2017
NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL BIOMARKERS FOR AD DRUG DEVELOPMENT (Private)
Jan 15 2015 - Jan 15 2016
OLFACTORY DEFICITS IN MCI AS PREDICTOR OF IMPROVED COGNITION ON DONEPEZIL (Federal Gov)
Apr 1 2012 - Mar 31 2015
PILOT COMBINATION TRIAL OF MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT WITH DEPRESSION (Federal Gov)
Sep 1 2011 - Aug 31 2014
QUESTIONABLE DEMENTIA: COURSE AND PREDICTORS OF OUTCOME (Federal Gov)
Mar 1 2000 - May 31 2014
VASCULAR DEPRESSION IN AA: PHENOMENOLOGY, TREATMENT, AND COURSE OF ILLNESS (Federal Gov)
Jul 1 2010 - Jun 30 2013
COMPARATIVE SAFENESS AND EFFECTIVENESS OF ANTIPSYCHOTICS (Federal Gov)
Sep 30 2008 - Mar 31 2011
IN VIVO PET IMAGING OF MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT, EARLY ALZHEIMER''S DISEASE, OTHER DEMENTIAS AND HEALTHY ELDERLY... (Private)
Mar 1 2006 - Apr 30 2008