Andrew E. Budson, MD

Dr. Andrew E. Budson is chief of cognitive & behavioral neurology at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, lecturer in neurology at Harvard Medical School, and chair of the Science of Learning Innovation Group at the Harvard Medical School Academy. Graduating cum laude from HMS in 1993, he has given over 600 local, national, and international grand rounds and other talks; published over 100 scientific papers, reviews, and book chapters; and co-authored or edited five books. His book Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory: What’s Normal, What’s Not, and What to Do About It explains how individuals can distinguish changes in memory due to Alzheimer's versus normal aging; what medications, vitamins, diets, and exercise regimes can help; and the best habits, strategies, and memory aids to use. His book Memory Loss, Alzheimer's Disease, and Dementia: A Practical Guide for Clinicians has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese.

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Posts by Andrew E. Budson, MD

A new Alzheimer’s drug: From advisory panel to FDA — what’s at stake here?

The FDA is in the process of deciding whether to approve a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s. Two large clinical trials produced contradictory results, but other factors will affect the decision, including cost, incidence of side effects, the drug’s effectiveness, and more.

The hidden long-term cognitive effects of COVID-19

it is becoming increasingly clear that COVID-19 affects the nervous system along with the respiratory system. Research is suggesting that this may result in long-term neurologic damage in those who survive a COVID infection, including evidence of effects on cognitive function.

Why is music good for the brain?

A study conducted by AARP found correlation between a person’s engagement with music and their opinion of their brain health and cognitive ability. While the study did not involve any objective measure of brain health, music has been shown to activate multiple areas of the brain, and keeping brain pathways active helps keep the brain strong in older age.

Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s disease?

It has been known for some time that air pollution causes heart and lung diseases. Now, results from three different studies on populations in different parts of the world show an association between higher levels of air pollution and greater risk of cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Can controlling blood pressure later in life reduce risk of dementia?

An analysis of multiple studies looking at the relationship between high blood pressure and cognitive health –– abilities like thinking, memory, and attention –– found that older people who lower high blood pressure are slightly less likely to develop cognitive impairment or dementia.

What to eat to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease

A Mediterranean-style diet has been shown to benefit cognitive performance, and one food — fish — stands out as helping lower risk of both cognitive impairment and cognitive decline.

Trouble with crossword puzzles? Improve your semantic memory

Semantic memory is your store of factual knowledge and the meanings of words. It also helps you recall nonverbal concepts and relationships between words and concepts. And while some aspects of memory may decline with age, semantic memory does not.

A clue to a cure for Alzheimer’s disease

Half of people who live to 85 will develop Alzheimer’s disease — a disturbing statistic. But research into a family in South America has revealed a gene mutation that appears to afford protection, and may lead to a way to treat or possibly even prevent the disease.

Is there a test for Alzheimer’s disease?

Wondering whether a blood test or brain scan can accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease? If memory loss is a problem for you or a loved one, consider these points before discussing potential next steps with a doctor.

Want to travel back in time? Use episodic memory

When people refer to “memory,” they often mean episodic memory, a complex brain process that enables recall of details like names and route detours — as well as long-ago moments.