Heather Elizabeth Whitson, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor in Ophthalmology
Deputy Director of the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development
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

Ong, Sally S., Alan D. Proia, Heather E. Whitson, Sina Farsiu, P Murali Doraiswamy, and Eleonora M. Lad. “Ocular amyloid imaging at the crossroad of Alzheimer's disease and age-related macular degeneration: implications for diagnosis and therapy..” J Neurol 266, no. 7 (July 2019): 1566–77. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-018-9028-z.

PMID
30155741
Full Text

Garg, Tullika, Kathryn Anzuoni, Valentina Landyn, Alexandra Hajduk, Stephen Waring, Leah R. Hanson, and Heather E. Whitson. “Correction to: The AGING Initiative experience: a call for sustained support for team science networks..” Health Res Policy Syst 17, no. 1 (May 20, 2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-019-0429-y.

PMID
31109322
Full Text

High, Kevin P., Susan Zieman, Jerry Gurwitz, Carl Hill, Jennifer Lai, Thomas Robinson, Mara Schonberg, and Heather Whitson. “Use of Functional Assessment to Define Therapeutic Goals and Treatment..” J Am Geriatr Soc, May 13, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.15975.

PMID
31081938
Full Text

Colón-Emeric, Cathleen, Carl F. Pieper, Kenneth E. Schmader, Richard Sloane, Allison Bloom, Micah McClain, Jay Magaziner, et al. “Two Approaches to Classifying and Quantifying Physical Resilience in Longitudinal Data..” J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci, April 17, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glz097.

PMID
30993327
Full Text

Oyeyemi, D., H. Whitson, J. N. Browndyke, H. J. Cohen, J. P. Mathew, and M. Berger. “Depression, Anxiety and Postoperative Cognition in Older Adults.” In Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 67:S338–S338. WILEY, 2019.

Scholars@Duke

Zietlow, K., D. Oyeyemi, H. Margaret, S. McDonald, S. Cook, S. Lagoo, M. Heflin, and H. Whitson. “Cognition and Capacity to Consent for Elective Surgery.” In Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 67:S240–S240. WILEY, 2019.

Scholars@Duke

Cunha, P. P., M. Stout, L. Ledbetter, J. Ruhle, H. Whitson, and L. Previll. “Museum-based Art interventions for people with dementia and their caregivers: A systematic review.” In Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 67:S340–S340. WILEY, 2019.

Scholars@Duke

Chan, Victor T. T., Zihan Sun, Shumin Tang, Li Jia Chen, Adrian Wong, Clement C. Tham, Tien Y. Wong, et al. “Spectral-Domain OCT Measurements in Alzheimer's Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis..” Ophthalmology 126, no. 4 (April 2019): 497–510. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2018.08.009.

PMID
30114417
Full Text

Berger, Miles, Deborah Oyeyemi, Mobolaji O. Olurinde, Heather E. Whitson, Kent J. Weinhold, Marty G. Woldorff, Lewis A. Lipsitz, et al. “The INTUIT Study: Investigating Neuroinflammation Underlying Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction..” J Am Geriatr Soc 67, no. 4 (April 2019): 794–98. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.15770.

PMID
30674067
Full Text

Deardorff, William James, Phillip L. Liu, Richard Sloane, Courtney Van Houtven, Carl F. Pieper, Susan Nicole Hastings, Harvey J. Cohen, and Heather E. Whitson. “Association of Sensory and Cognitive Impairment With Healthcare Utilization and Cost in Older Adults..” J Am Geriatr Soc, March 29, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.15891.

PMID
30924932
Full Text

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