About the Author

Susan Jimison Vitek

Susan Jimison Vitek

Susan Jimison Vitek is Executive Editor of Mind, Mood, & Memory, a monthly publication sponsored by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston that focuses on the latest developments in mental health. Her regular interviews with outstanding Harvard researchers and medical experts have covered a variety of topics associated with the brain, including mood disorders such as depression, neurodegenerative diseases, aging, nutrition, mental stimulation, the brain benefits of exercise, and more. Jimison Vitek is an experienced journalist who has focused on health issues for a variety of publications, including major national newspapers. Over the years, her writing and editing career has encompassed projects ranging from reporting for national health agencies and pharmaceutical companies to authoring a diet book and documenting the progress of innovative programs for the New York City criminal justice and social service systems.

Articles by Susan Jimison Vitek

Topics

Brain-Safe Ways to Ease Chronic Pain

Pain results from a complex interaction of biological, sensory, emotional, and cognitive factors unique to each individual, and finding successful treatments is equally complex. Pain medications, usually the first choice for easing physical discomfort, are often only mildly helpful, if at all, and they tend to wear off over time.

Topics

Pessimism, Worry Can Lead to Heart Damage

Two recent studies suggest that thoughts may be as important as risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar when it comes to heart health. Research published online Nov. 17, 2016 in BMC Public Health tested levels of pessimism in nearly 3,000 men and women ranging

Daily

Your Adaptable Brain and How to Empower It

A healthy brain is an adaptable brain—one that can respond to new information and circumstances, withstand the harmful effects of injury, disease, and stress, and repair itself following damage to, or loss of, brain cells and/or their connections. This capacity, called neuroplasticity, is essential to staying sharp in older age.

“Brain

An Overview of Dementia Medications

Daily

An Overview of Dementia Medications

Alzheimer’s disease treatment is, in many respects, still a question in search of a definitive answer. No Alzheimer medication can halt the forward progress of the disease or prevent its ultimate devastation on the lives of those who have it.

Yet Alzheimer dementia medications are available that can help relieve some

Is Dementia Hereditary?

Daily

Is Dementia Hereditary?

Your genetic background is responsible, at least in part, for your propensity to inherit certain medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias. The more family members you have who are affected by certain types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, the greater your risk becomes. So, strictly speaking, is dementia

Lewy Body Dementia: Outlook and Action Steps

Daily

Lewy Body Dementia: Outlook and Action Steps

Researchers are exploring new approaches that are increasing scientific understanding of dementia with Lewy bodies (or DLB). In one study, the transplantation of stem cells into DLB-damaged areas of the brains of mice revitalized those regions and resulted in dramatic improvements in the animals’ cognitive and motor symptoms, raising hopes

Dementia Types: Reversible and Irreversible Dementia

Daily

Dementia Types: Reversible and Irreversible Dementia

Various dementia types can be caused by medical or psychiatric conditions, among them high fever, vitamin deficiency, head trauma, or depression. These are the so-called “reversible dementias.” Other dementia types are irreversible and—if you’re wondering, “Is dementia hereditary?”—can be caused by family genes.
Let’s look at reversible dementias first. It’s important