Dr. J. Wesson Ashford




J. Wesson Ashford, M.D., Ph.D., Brief Biography, October 15, 2017

Dr. Ashford is a Clinical Professor (affiliated) of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and has been a staff psychiatrist since 2003 and the Director of the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System since 2007. Dr. Ashford is a Senior Research Scientist at the Stanford / VA Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Research Centers. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board and Chair of the Memory Screening Advisory Board of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, a Senior Editor of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, and was the 14th President of the Society for Brain Mapping & Therapeutics (2016 – 2017).

Dr. Ashford obtained a BA the University of California, Berkeley in 1970. At UCLA (1970–1985) he attained an MD (1974) and PhD (1984), trained in psychiatry (1975-1979), co-founded the Neurobehavior Clinic. His Ph.D. dissertation was a finalist for the Lindsley Prize for the best in Behavioral Neuroscience in 1984.

Since 1985, Dr. Ashford has been on the faculty at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, UC Davis School of Medicine as an Associate Professor in Residence in the Department of Psychiatry, and the University of Kentucky School of Medicine, where he was a tenured Associate Professor and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry until 2003.

jwashford-sbmt-2017-04Dr. Ashford has made numerous scientific advances, including leading the first double-blind study of a cholinesterase inhibitor to treat Alzheimer’s disease (1981), formulating the Neuroplasticity Hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease (Ashford & Jarvik,1985), being the first to use Modern Test Theory in the field of Medicine, “Item-Response Theory” analysis of the Mini-Mental State Exam (Ashford et al., 1989), introducing the Time Index Model of measuring Alzheimer dementia severity (Ashford et al., 1995), and proposing the APP-switch model of neuroplasticity (Ashford, 2004; 2015).

Since 1998, he has been developing early detection and measurement methods for mild cognitive disorders and Alzheimer’s disease, currently working on an internet program: www.memtrax.com , which is being used by the Brain Health Registry (www.brainhealthregistry.org ). He has also been reformulating theories of Alzheimer pathology, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, addiction, and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography: (over 140 references)



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