Healthy Aging and Integrative Medicine

February 1, 2021 Joe Brady

Grand Rounds Osher Institute for Integrative medicine, Harvard Medical School/ Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Date: Tuesday, February 2nd at 8:00-9:00 am on Zoom
Register Here

Stress impacts aging in multiple ways; stress management over the lifespan is increasingly recognized as a strategy to promote healthy aging of the body and mind. Integrative medicine practices like yoga, tai chi, massage, acupuncture even art classes, and visits to the Botanic Gardens all have great potential to relieve stress and influence the effects of stress on the aging process.

In this month’s Grand Rounds, we will hear from a patient and his neuropsychologist about the impact of stress on aging with a special focus on cognition. Joined by Dr. Amy Peters and Dr. Zeina Chemali, and Dr. Steven J. Atlas, Dr. Loewenthal will share clinical approaches and research evidence regarding healthy aging.

Presenters: Julia Loewenthal, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Amy Peters, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital; and Zeina Chemali, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital; Steven J. Atlas, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital

About the Presenters

Julia Loewenthal, MD received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health in Nutritional Biochemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill and her MD from the University of Virginia. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the primary care track. She then completed a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine.

Through her training and experience in medicine and as a yoga practitioner and teacher, Dr. Loewenthal developed a strong interest in the bidirectional relationship of stress and aging. At the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, she sees older patients in a consultative role for stress management and optimal use of integrative medical therapies. Given her background in Geriatrics and Internal Medicine, she is particularly interested in medically complex older adults. In addition, Dr. Loewenthal is a course director for the Harvard Medical School Healthy Aging CME course. She is a clinician-educator, teaching medical students, residents, and fellows. In 2020 she was awarded the prestigious BWH Department of Medicine Clinical Education and Research Scholars (CERS) fellowship. Her academic work is focused on the dissemination of geriatrics medical education to Internal Medicine residents and strategies to promote resident well-being.

Amy Peters, Ph.D., received her undergraduate degree from Boston College and her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She completed her predoctoral clinical internship in neuropsychology (2018) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She then completed her postdoctoral research fellowship (2020) in the Dauten Family Center for Bipolar Treatment Innovation and is currently completing her clinical neuropsychology residency within the Psychology Assessment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her clinical training and expertise are in adult neuropsychology, with particular interests in the assessment of cerebrovascular disorders, autoimmune conditions and encephalopathies, and neuropsychiatric conditions. Dr. Peters is a licensed psychologist in the state of Massachusetts and a member of the faculty of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Peters’ research focuses on the relationship between cognitive dysfunction and the development, course, and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. Most recently, she has evaluated how immune and endocrine function impact brain networks underlying cognition and mood. Her research has been funded by the National Institute for Mental Health and the American Psychological Foundation, including a K23 career development award investigating the role of neuroinflammation in individuals with bipolar disorder experiencing executive functioning difficulties. Dr. Peters is a past recipient of the Samuel Gershon Junior Investigator Award from the International Society for Bipolar Disorder and an Early Career Investigator Award from the Society for Biological Psychiatry.

Zeina N. Chemali, MD, MPH was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and attended the American University of Beirut/Lebanese University to complete her medical education (1983–1991). She is double boarded in Neurology and Psychiatry after extensive training at Harvard hospitals in Boston, MA. Dr. Chemali co-founded the Center for Optimal Brain Function (COBF) at the BWH in 2003 and served as its Chief Medical Officer from 2003–2007. Currently, Dr. Chemali is the Director of Neuropsychiatry Clinics and Fellowship and Unit Chief at the McCance Center for Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at Harvard Medical
School. Her clinical interests and expertise revolve around the practice of neuropsychiatry/behavioral neurology and brain health with a special interest in early-onset dementia. Patients come from across the country and internationally, seeking her expertise in behavior
and brain health. Dr. Chemali has conducted fieldwork in under-privileged worldwide
regions, particularly in Africa, the Middle East, and South America, advancing brain
health training to mid-level professionals, establishing dual residency programs in
neurology-psychiatry, and running capacity-building programs in aging and Alzheimer’s

Steven J. Atlas, MD received his degree from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and completed a fellowship in general medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Atlas is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a physician in the Division of General Internal Medicine at MGH where he is a practicing primary care physician. He is the Director of the primary care practice-based research and quality network and the Medical Director implementing population health management within primary care practices at MGH. He is a medical editor for Healthwise, a non-profit company with a mission to help people make better health decisions, and with UpToDate, a comprehensive evidence-based electronic clinical information resource for clinicians.