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

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New Directions for AD Treatment—An Update

The search for ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been a long and arduous process. Although progress is being made in many areas, years of research still have not produced therapies that can stop or reverse the steady advance of this mind-wrecking neurodegenerative disease.

Yet scientists are accruing

Alcoholic Dementia: How Heavy Drinking Can Affect Your Memory

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Alcoholic Dementia: How Heavy Drinking Can Affect Your Memory

Moderate drinking (one or two glasses a day) shouldn’t affect your cognitive function and may even provide some mild benefits. But chronic alcohol abuse can lead to alcohol-induced dementia due to the combined toxic effects of alcohol and the nutritional deficiencies often associated with alcoholism. In fact, heavy drinking (more

What Causes Dementia?

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What Causes Dementia?

Reseachers are hard at work trying to figure out what causes dementia. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), they are trying to learn the process associated with an Alzheimer’s cause. They are learning that there’s a multifactorial process associated with AD, triggered by a combination of environmental and genetic

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Aging Diseases that Affect the Brain

Many diseases that grow more common with age are associated with deterioration in brain health and cognitive decline, warns Deborah Blacker, MD, ScD, director of the Gerontology Research Unit in the Department of Psychiatry at MGH and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

“That’s why it’s important to get

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Four Brain Exercises to Increase Processing Speed

Just a few hours spent engaging in exercises that teach the aging brain to increase processing speed—the ability to attend to and respond to incoming information—appear to dramatically reduce an older adult’s vulnerability to dementia, new research suggests. A slowing of processing speed often accounts for age-related brain decline.

Scientists recruited

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Easing the Burden of Living with Depression

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious challenge that requires professional treatment (see What You Can Do). It often takes time and patience to overcome. However, while there are no simple cures for this mood disorder, an MGH expert points out that there are commonsense steps you can take that

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Powerful RX for Aging and Mental Decline: Exercise!

Researchers have provided yet more evidence for the benefits of exercise with two new studies that suggest regular physical activity boosts resistance to aging and mental decline. One study, published Jan. 10, 2017 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found that among 1,600 adults aged 65 and older, those who