About the Division

The Division of Cognitive Neurology is committed to conducting the highest-quality research and providing exceptional patient care to improve the diagnosis and treatment of dementia and related memory disorders. Our Memory Disorders Clinic receives more than 2,500 patient-visits each year, treating patients with such conditions as:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Dementia
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Vascular dementia
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Toxic-metabolic dementia
  • Infectious dementia
  • Inflammatory dementia
  • Rare types of dementia including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and leukodystrophy

ScharreDougWelcome from Division Director,
Douglas Scharre, MD

Our goal is to provide the highest quality and most up-to-date care and treatments for our patients, and to conduct research to improve the diagnosis, treatment and eventual cure of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other related memory disorders. Since 1993 we’ve engaged in ground-breaking research in dementia and cognitive disorders using medications and devices including those targeting amyloid, tau, inflammation, synaptic damage and abnormal behaviors. We’re investigating issues related to health disparities and therapies focused on diet, exercise and cognitive activities.

Ohio State is the only university in the country to have both behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry as well as geriatric neurology United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties-accredited fellowship programs to train the next generation of clinicians and cognitive neuroscientists. We value the contributions of every team member and foster a collaborative, cooperative working environment.

Goals and highlights

  • We’re committed to the highest level of patient care, professional and community education and innovative research to find treatments and improved diagnostics for cognitive disorders.
  • Our Cognitive Division developed the widely used Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) cognitive assessment tool, now in paper and digital formats, to detect early signs of cognitive impairments and dementia. It’s been downloaded more than two million times, translated into many languages and used throughout the world in clinical and research settings.
  • Ohio State was the first in the world to research and use deep brain stimulation on frontal lobe networks to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The 4-Turn Test, also developed in our division, predicts driving performance of individuals with mild dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The Memory Disorders Research Center has conducted more than 200 dementia-related clinical trials over the past 28 years. Data from those studies have contributed to more than 1,000 research publications.
  • The division is proud to be a top 50 clinical trial site worldwide for dementia/cognitive disorders (based on clinical site databases).
  • We’ve collected and stored in our biorepository blood, cerebrospinal fluid and post-mortem brain specimens from more than 600 individuals, for researchers to use in their quest for new discoveries.
  • We’re designated a funded Lewy Body Dementia Association Research Center of Excellence.
  • The Alzheimer’s Research Center of Excellence at Ohio State leverages our existing basic, translational and clinical research strengths from across the university into one group and is focused on the detection, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative conditions. 

Centers and clinics

Programs and services

  • SAGE Test: The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) was designed right here at Ohio State to detect early signs of cognitive, memory, or thinking impairments. You can take the test yourself by downloading the questionnaire and taking your completed answers to your next doctor's appointment.
  • 4-Turn Test: The test was designed to assess an individual's ability to remember instructions and directions. The evaluation can be conducted in any environment as it does not require any specialized equipment or scoring forms. The examination may be an appropriate method to assess whether a patient should continue to drive.

Residency and Fellowship

The Department of Neurology at the Ohio State University has a long history of a dedicated commitment to education. We have world-class faculty and staff, state-of-the-art amenities, and novel technologies, all of which enables trainees to gain experience in the management of complex pathologies and apply innovative and high-quality medical care for a diverse patient population. Learn more about our residency and fellowship programs.

Our Team

Erica Dawson, PhD

Erica Dawson, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Director of Neuropsychology, Director of the Neurocognitive Wellness and Therapy Program
Renee Kovesci, APRN-CNP

Renee Kovesci, APRN-CNP

  • Advanced Practice Provider - Cognitive Division
Jessica Truelove, MS, APRN-CNP

Jessica Truelove, MS, APRN-CNP

  • Advanced Practice Provider - Cognitive Division
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Veronica Thornton, PhD

  • Assistant Professor – Clinical, Department of Neurology
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Jessica Pommy, PhD

  • Assistant Professor – Clinical, Department of Neurology
Rochelle O'Neil, PhD

Rochelle O’Neil, PhD

  • Assistant Professor – Clinical, Department of Neurology
Claire Speelman

Claire Speelman, PhD

  • Assistant Professor – Clinical, Department of Neurology

Research and clinical trials

Ohio State conducts more Alzheimer’s and cognitive clinical trials than any other medical center in Ohio, offering patients immediate access to the most promising treatments and diagnostics.

Learn more

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