Heather Elizabeth Whitson, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor in Ophthalmology
Deputy Director of the Center for the Study of Aging and Human
Campus mail Dept Of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 660-7514
Email address heather.whitson@duke.edu

Dr. Whitson's research is focused on improving care and health outcomes for people with multiple chronic conditions.  In particular, she has interest and expertise related to the link between changes in the eye and brain (e.g., Why do cognitive and brain changes occur in the context of late-life vision loss?  Is Alzheimer's Disease associated with distinctive changes in the retina, and could such changes help diagnose Alzheimer's early in its course?).  Dr. Whitson is also interested in improving care delivery systems and intervention programs to better serve medically complex patients.  Within the Duke Aging Center, she leads research efforts aimed at promoting resilience to late-life stressors (e.g., surgery, sensory loss).  She has developed a novel rehabilitation model for people with co-existing vision and cognitive deficits, and she is part of a inter-disciplinary team seeking to improve peri-operative outcomes for frail or at-risk seniors who must undergo surgery.

Education and Training

  • Fellow in Geriatrics, Medicine, Duke University, 2005 - 2006
  • Fellow in Geriatrics, Medicine, Duke University, 2003 - 2004
  • Medical Resident, Medicine, Duke University, 2000 - 2003
  • M.H.S., Duke University, 2009
  • M.D., Cornell University, 2000

Publications

Whitson, HE, Cronin-Golomb, A, Cruickshanks, KJ, Gilmore, GC, Owsley, C, Peelle, JE, Recanzone, G, Sharma, A, Swenor, B, Yaffe, K, and Lin, FR. "American Geriatrics Society and National Institute on Aging Bench-to-Bedside Conference: Sensory Impairment and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (September 24, 2018).

PMID
30248173
Full Text

Ong, SS, Proia, AD, Whitson, HE, Farsiu, S, Doraiswamy, PM, and Lad, EM. "Ocular amyloid imaging at the crossroad of Alzheimer's disease and age-related macular degeneration: implications for diagnosis and therapy." Journal of Neurology (August 28, 2018). (Review)

PMID
30155741
Full Text

Chan, VTT, Sun, Z, Tang, S, Chen, LJ, Wong, A, Tham, CC, Wong, TY, Chen, C, Ikram, MK, Whitson, HE, Lad, EM, Mok, VCT, and Cheung, CY. "Spectral-Domain OCT Measurements in Alzheimer's Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis." Ophthalmology (August 13, 2018). (Review)

PMID
30114417
Full Text

Whitson, HE, Cohen, HJ, Schmader, KE, Morey, MC, Kuchel, G, and Colon-Emeric, CS. "Physical Resilience: Not Simply the Opposite of Frailty." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 66, no. 8 (August 2018): 1459-1461.

PMID
29577234
Full Text

Lee, MJ, Varadaraj, V, Ramulu, PY, Whitson, H, Deal, JA, and Swenor, BK. "Subjective Memory Complaints in the Visually Impaired: An NHANES Analysis." Annual Meeting of the Association-for-Research-in-Vision-and-Ophthalmology (ARVO). Honolulu, HI. April 29, 2018 - May 3, 2018.: ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, July 1, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

Hadley, EC, Kuchel, GA, Newman, AB, Allore, HG, Bartley, JM, Bergeman, CS, Blinov, ML, Colon-Emeric, CS, Dabhar, FS, Dugan, LL, Dutta, C, Eldadah, BA, Ferrucci, L, Kirkland, JL, Kritchevsky, SB, Lipsitz, LA, Nadkarni, NK, Reed, MJ, Schmader, KE, Sierra, F, Studenski, SA, Varadhan, R, Walston, JD, Whitson, HE, and Yung, R. "Corrigendum to: Report: NIA Workshop on Measures of Physiologic Resiliencies in Human Aging." The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 73, no. 7 (June 2018): 995-null.

PMID
29788088
Full Text

Garg, T, Anzuoni, K, Landyn, V, Hajduk, A, Waring, S, Hanson, LR, and Whitson, HE. "The AGING Initiative experience: a call for sustained support for team science networks." Health Research Policy and Systems 16, no. 1 (May 18, 2018): 41-null. (Letter)

PMID
29776412
Full Text

Berger, M, Browndyke, J, Cooter, M, Bullock, W, Colin, B, Gadsden, J, Iboaya, E, Lemm, J, Moretti, E, Ohlendorf, B, Quinones, QJ, Runyon, S, Sandler, A, Young, C, Shaw, L, Whitson, H, Cohen, H, and Mathew, J. "Postoperative Changes in CSF AD Markers, Cognition, and fMRI activity." Annual Scientific Meeting of the American-Geriatrics-Society (AGS). Orlando, FL. May 3, 2018 - May 5, 2018.: WILEY, April 1, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

Berger, M, Browndyke, J, Cooter, M, Bullock, W, Colin, B, Gadsden, J, Iboaya, E, Lemm, J, Moretti, E, Ohlendorf, B, Quinones, QJ, Runyon, S, Sandler, A, Young, C, Shaw, L, Whitson, H, Cohen, H, and Mathew, J. "Postoperative Changes in CSF AD Markers, Cognition, and fMRI activity." Annual Scientific Meeting of the American-Geriatrics-Society (AGS). Orlando, FL. May 3, 2018 - May 5, 2018.: WILEY, April 1, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

Cunha, PP, Zhuang, J, Wright, JP, Madden, DJ, Potter, GG, Allen, K, Lad, E, Cousins, SW, and Whitson, H. "Discrepancy between self-reported vision and visual acuity in patients with age-related macular degeneration." Annual Scientific Meeting of the American-Geriatrics-Society (AGS). Orlando, FL. May 3, 2018 - May 5, 2018.: WILEY, April 1, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

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