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Helen Lavretsky, MD

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Helen Lavretsky, MD

UCLA Physician Helen Lavretsky, MD specializes in Geriatric Psychiatry.
Specialty
Geriatric Psychiatry
Gender
Female
Language Spoken
English, Russian
Hospital Affiliation
Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
State License Number
A51278
Contact
(800) 825-9989 Appointments
(310) 794-4619 Office
Fax Number
(310) 206-4399
Email Address
hlavrets@ucla.edu
Voted Best Doctor
PRACTICE LOCATION

Outpatient Appointments
300 Medical Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office Address
760 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095

MEDICAL BOARD CERTIFICATION
Geriatric Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 1998, 2008
Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 1996, 2006
EDUCATION
Fellowship
Neuroscience, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 1996 - 1999
Geriatric Psychiatry, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 1994 - 1996
Residency
Psychiatry, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 1992 - 1994
Internship
Psychiatry, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 1991 - 1992
Degree
MD, First Moscow Sechenov Medical Institute, 1985
AFFILIATION
WEBINARS
MORE INFORMATION
Research Interest
Geriatric psychiatry, mood and cognitive disorders, psychopharmacology, integrative medicine, complementary and alternative medicine
Additional Information

Dr. Helen Lavretsky is a Professor In-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA, a geriatric psychiatrist with research interest in geriatric and caregiver depression, as well as complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and mind-body approaches to treatment and prevention of mood and cognitive disorders in older adults. She directs the Late-life mood stress and wellness research program at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

She received the 2001-2007 and 2010-2016 Career Development awards from NIMH and other prestigious research awards. Her current research studies include an NIMH-funded randomized trial of memantine and citalopram to improve clinical and cognitive outcomes in geriatric depression with mild cognitive impairment, and the foundation-funded study of complementary use of yoga for memory and aging, several studies of antidepressants for geriatric depression. She has developed an elective rotation in clinical research for Medical Students at UCLA. After receiving her Medical Degree from the Moscow Medical Institute, Dr. Lavretsky performed her residency in Psychiatry at UCLA-San Fernando Valley Residency Program, followed by the UCLA Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry, and the national VA Research Fellowship in Neurosciences. She received her Degree of Master of Science in Clinical Research from UCLA in 2004. Dr Lavretksy is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with added qualifications in geriatric psychiatry, and by the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine.

Awards & Recognition
Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association
Junior Investigator Award from the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
Publications
  1. Irwin MR, Olmstead R, Carrillo C, Sadeghi N, Breen EC, Witarama T, Yokomizo M, Lavretsky H, Carroll JE, Motivala SJ, Bootzin R, Nicassio P. Cognitive behavioral therapy vs. Tai Chi for late life insomnia and inflammatory risk: a randomized controlled comparative efficacy trial. Sleep. 2014 Sep 1;37(9):1543-52.
  2. Varteresian T, Lavretsky H. Natural products and supplements for geriatric depression and cognitive disorders: an evaluation of the research. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014 Aug;16(8):456.
  3. Jain FA, Nazarian N, Lavretsky H. Feasibility of central meditation andimagery therapy for dementia caregivers. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 Aug;29(8):870-6. doi: 10.1002/gps.4076. Epub 2014 Jan 29.
  4. Reinlieb M, Ercoli LM, Siddarth P, St Cyr N, Lavretsky H. The Patterns of Cognitive and Functional Impairment in Amnestic and Non-amnestic Mild CognitiveImpairment in Geriatric Depression. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014Dec;22(12):1487-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2013.10.010. Epub 2013 Nov 5.
  5. Siddarth D, Siddarth P, Lavretsky H. An observational study of the health benefits of yoga or tai chi compared with aerobic exercise in community-dwelling  middle-aged and older adults. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 Mar;22(3):272-3.
  6. Jain Felipe A, Gitlin Michael, Lavretsky Helen Rapid Response of Major Depressive Disorder and Comorbid Eating Disorder NOS to a Novel Meditation Intervention Psychosomatics, 2012; 53(4): 401-2.
  7. Merrill David A, Siddarth Prabha, Saito Nathan Y, Ercoli Linda M, Burggren Alison C, Kepe Vladimir, Lavretsky Helen, Miller Karen J, Kim Jeanne, Huang S C, Bookheimer Susan Y, Barrio Jorge R, Small Gary W Self-reported memory impairment and brain PET of amyloid and tau in middle-aged and older adults without dementia International psychogeriatrics / IPA, 2012; 24(7): 1076-84.
  8. Black David S, Cole Steve W, Irwin Michael R, Breen Elizabeth, St Cyr Natalie M, Nazarian Nora, Khalsa Dharma S, Lavretsky Helen Yogic meditation reverses NF-κB and IRF-related transcriptome dynamics in leukocytes of family dementia caregivers in a randomized controlled trial Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2012;
  9. Small Gary W, Siddarth Prabha, Kepe Vladimir, Ercoli Linda M, Burggren Alison C, Bookheimer Susan Y, Miller Karen J, Kim Jeanne, Lavretsky Helen, Huang S-C, Barrio Jorge R Prediction of cognitive decline by positron emission tomography of brain amyloid and tau Archives of neurology, 2012; 69(2): 215-22.
  10. Lavretsky Helen, Alstein Lily L, Olmstead Richard E, Ercoli Linda M, Riparetti-Brown Marquertie, Cyr Natalie St, Irwin Michael R Complementary use of tai chi chih augments escitalopram treatment of geriatric depression: a randomized controlled trial The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2011; 19(10): 839-50.
  11. Schneider Brooke, Ercoli Linda, Siddarth Prabha, Lavretsky Helen Vascular Burden and Cognitive Functioning in Depressed Older Adults The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2011; 19(10):.
  12. Meeks Thomas W, Vahia Ipsit V, Lavretsky Helen, Kulkarni Ganesh, Jeste Dilip V A tune in "a minor" can "b major": a review of epidemiology, illness course, and public health implications of subthreshold depression in older adults Journal of affective disorders, 2011; 129(1-3): 126-42.
  13. Lavretsky Helen, Zheng Ling, Weiner Michael W, Mungas Dan, Reed Bruce, Kramer Joel H, Jagust William, Chui Helena, Mack Wendy J Association of depressed mood and mortality in older adults with and without cognitive impairment in a prospective naturalistic study The American journal of psychiatry, 2010; 167(5): 589-97.
  14. Cho Hyong Jin, Lavretsky Helen, Olmstead Richard, Levin Myron, Oxman Michael N, Irwin Michael R Prior depression history and deterioration of physical health in community-dwelling older adults--a prospective cohort study The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2010; 18(5): 442-51.
  15. Lavretsky Helen, Siddarth Prabha, Irwin Michael R   Improving depression and enhancing resilience in family dementia caregivers: a pilot randomized placebo-controlled trial of escitalopram The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2010; 18(2): 154-62.
  16. Mueller Susanne G, Mack Wendy J, Mungas Dan, Kramer Joel H, Cardenas-Nicolson Valerie, Lavretsky Helen, Greene Maxwell, Schuff Norbert, Chui Helena C, Weiner Michael W   Influences of lobar gray matter and white matter lesion load on cognition and mood Psychiatry research, 2010; 181(2): 90-6.
  17. Lavretsky Helen, Siddarth Prabha, Kepe Vladimir, Ercoli Linda M, Miller Karen J, Burggren Alison C, Bookheimer Susan Y, Huang Sung-Cheng, Barrio Jorge R, Small Gary W   Depression and anxiety symptoms are associated with cerebral FDDNP-PET binding in middle-aged and older nondemented adults The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2009; 17(6): 493-502.
  18. Ercoli Linda M, Siddarth Prabha, Kepe Vladimir, Miller Karen J, Huang S-C, Cole Gregory M, Lavretsky Helen, Bookheimer Susan Y, Kim Jeanne, Phelps Michael E, Barrio Jorge R, Small Gary W   Differential FDDNP PET patterns in nondemented middle-aged and older adults The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2009; 17(5): 397-406.
  19. Lavretsky Helen Complementary and alternative medicine use for treatment and prevention of late-life mood and cognitive disorders Aging health, 2009; 5(1): 61-78.
  20. Small Gary W, Siddarth Prabha, Burggren Alison C, Kepe Vladimir, Ercoli Linda M, Miller Karen J, Lavretsky Helen, Thompson Paul M, Cole Greg M, Huang S C, Phelps Michael E, Bookheimer Susan Y, Barrio Jorge R   Influence of cognitive status, age, and APOE-4 genetic risk on brain FDDNP positron-emission tomography imaging in persons without dementia Archives of general psychiatry, 2009; 66(1): 81-7.
  21. Small Gary W, Siddarth Prabha, Silverman Daniel H S, Ercoli Linda M, Miller Karen J, Lavretsky Helen, Bookheimer Susan Y, Huang S-C, Barrio Jorge R, Phelps Michael E   Cognitive and cerebral metabolic effects of celecoxib versus placebo in people with age-related memory loss: randomized controlled studyThe American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2008; 16(12): 999-1009.
  22. Cho Hyong Jin, Lavretsky Helen, Olmstead Richard, Levin Myron J, Oxman Michael N, Irwin Michael R  Sleep disturbance and depression recurrence in community-dwelling older adults: a prospective study The American journal of psychiatry, 2008; 165(12): 1543-50.
  23. Lavretsky Helen, Zheng Ling, Weiner Michael W, Mungas Dan, Reed Bruce, Kramer Joel H, Jagust William, Chui Helena, Mack Wendy J The MRI brain correlates of depressed mood, anhedonia, apathy, and anergia in older adults with and without cognitive impairment or dementia International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 2008; 23(10): 1040-50.
  24. Lavretsky Helen, Kumar Anand   Daily functioning and prefrontal brain morphology in healthy and depressed community-dwelling elderly The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2008; 16(8): 633-42.
  25. Lavretsky Helen Neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer disease and related disorders: why do treatments work in clinical practice but not in the randomized trials?. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2008; 16(7): 523-7.
  26. Lavretsky H, Zheng L, Weiner MW, Mungas D, Reed B, Kramer JH, Jagust W, Chui H, Mack WJ. Lavretsky H, Zheng L, Weiner MW, Mungas D, Reed B, Kramer JH, Jagust W, Chui H, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2008; EPUB: .
  27. Lavretsky H, Siddarth P, Wong M-L, Kumar A, Reynolds C.  Dopamine and serotonin transporter genetic polymorphisms: clinical features and treatment response in geriatric depression International Journal of Geriatirc Psychiatry, 2008; 2008(23(1)): 55-59.
  28. Lavretsky Helen, Siddarth Prabha, Kumar Anand, Reynolds Charles F  The effects of the dopamine and serotonin transporter polymorphisms on clinical features and treatment response in geriatric depression: a pilot study International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 2008; 23(1): 55-9.
  29. Lavretsky H, Ballmaier M, Pham D, Toga A, Kumar A.   Neuroanatomical characteristics of geriatric apathy and depression: a magnetic resonance imaging study, Americn Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2007; 2007 May;15(5):(15): 386-94.
  30. Lavretsky Helen, Ballmaier Martina, Pham Daniel, Toga Arthur, Kumar Anand   Neuroanatomical characteristics of geriatric apathy and depression: a magnetic resonance imaging study. he American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2007; 15(5): 386-94.
  31. Elderkin-Thompson Virginia, Mintz Jim, Haroon Ebrahim, Lavretsky Helen, Kumar Anand. Executive dysfunction and memory in older patients with major and minor depression Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists, 2007; 22(2): 261-70.
  32. Small Gary W, Kepe Vladimir, Ercoli Linda M, Siddarth Prabha, Bookheimer Susan Y, Miller Karen J, Lavretsky Helen, Burggren Alison C, Cole Greg M, Vinters Harry V, Thompson Paul M, Huang S-C, Satyamurthy N, Phelps Michael E, Barrio Jorge R. PET of brain amyloid and tau in mild cognitive impairment. The New England journal of medicine, 2006; 355(25): 2652-63.
  33. Elderkin-Thompson Virginia, Mintz Jim, Haroon Ebrahim, Lavretsky Helen, Kumar Anand. Executive dysfunction and memory in older patients with major and minor depression Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists, 2006; 21(7): 669-76.
  34. Lavretsky H, Park S, Siddarth P, Kumar A, Reynolds CF 3rd. Methylphenidate-enhanced antidepressant response to citalopram in the elderly: a Americn J of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2006; 14(2): 181-5.
  35. Small Gary W, Silverman Daniel H S, Siddarth Prabha, Ercoli Linda M, Miller Karen J, Lavretsky Helen, Wright Benjamin C, Bookheimer Susan Y, Barrio Jorge R, Phelps Michael E. Effects of a 14-day healthy longevity lifestyle program on cognition and brain function The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2006; 14(6): 538-45.
  36. Lavretsky Helen, Nguyen Lang Hai. Innovations: geriatric psychiatry: diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer's disease. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), 2006; 57(5): 617-9.
  37. Lavretsky Helen, Park Susan, Siddarth Prabha, Kumar Anand, Reynolds Charles F. Methylphenidate-enhanced antidepressant response to citalopram in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2006; 14(2): 181-5.
  38. Lavretsky Helen, Roybal Donna J, Ballmaier Martina, Toga Arthur W, Kumar Anand. Antidepressant exposure may protect against decrement in frontal gray matter volumes in geriatric depression The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 2005; 66(8): 964-7.
  39. Rasgon Natalie L, Silverman Daniel, Siddarth Prabha, Miller Karen, Ercoli Linda M, Elman Shana, Lavretsky Helen, Huang S-C, Phelps Michael E, Small Gary W    Estrogen use and brain metabolic change in postmenopausal women. Neurobiology of aging, 2005; 26(2): 229-35.
  40. Lavretsky Helen, Kurbanyan Kristina, Ballmaier Martina, Mintz Jim, Toga Arthur, Kumar Anand. Sex differences in brain structure in geriatric depression. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2005; 12(6): 653-7.
  41. Roose Steven P, Sackeim Harold A, Krishnan K Ranga Rama, Pollock Bruce G, Alexopoulos George, Lavretsky Helen, Katz Ira R, Hakkarainen Heikki, Hakkarainen Heikki. Antidepressant pharmacotherapy in the treatment of depression in the very old: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The American journal of psychiatry, 2004; 161(11): 2050-9.
  42. Ballmaier Martina, Kumar Anand, Thompson Paul M, Narr Katherine L, Lavretsky Helen, Estanol Laverne, Deluca Heather, Toga Arthur W. Localizing gray matter deficits in late-onset depression using computational cortical pattern matching methods. The American journal of psychiatry, 2004; 161(11): 2091-9.
  43. Elderkin-Thompson Virginia, Kumar Anand, Mintz Jim, Boone Kyle, Bahng Enjey, Lavretsky Helen. Executive dysfunction and visuospatial ability among depressed elders in a community setting. Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists, 2004; 19(5): 597-611.
  44. Ballmaier Martina, Sowell Elizabeth R, Thompson Paul M, Kumar Anand, Narr Katherine L, Lavretsky Helen, Welcome Suzanne E, DeLuca Heather, Toga Arthur W. Mapping brain size and cortical gray matter changes in elderly depression. Biological psychiatry, 2004; 55(4): 382-9.
  45. Lavretsky Helen, Kurbanyan Kristina, Kumar Anand. The significance of subsyndromal depression in geriatrics. Current psychiatry reports, 2004; 6(1): 25-31.
  46. Ballmaier Martina, Toga Arthur W, Blanton Rebecca E, Sowell Elizabeth R, Lavretsky Helen, Peterson Jeffrey, Pham Daniel, Kumar Anand. Anterior cingulate, gyrus rectus, and orbitofrontal abnormalities in elderly depressed patients: an MRI-based parcellation of the prefrontal cortex. The American journal of psychiatry, 2004; 161(1): 99-108.
  47. Lavretsky Helen, Ercoli Linda, Siddarth Prabha, Bookheimer Susan, Miller Karen, Small Gary. Apolipoprotein epsilon4 allele status, depressive symptoms, and cognitive decline in middle-aged and elderly persons without dementia. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2003; 11(6): 667-73.
  48. Lavretsky Helen, Kim Moon-Doo, Kumar Anand, Reynolds Charles F. Combined treatment with methylphenidate and citalopram for accelerated response in the elderly: an open trial. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 2003; 64(12): 1410-4.
  49. Lavretsky Helen. Therapy of depression in dementia. Expert review of neurotherapeutics, 2003; 3(5): 631-9.
  50. Lavretsky Helen, Kumar Anand. Practical geriatrics: clinically significant nonmajor geriatric depression. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), 2003; 54(3): 297-9.
  51. Lavretsky Helen, Kumar Anand. Clinically significant non-major depression: old concepts, new insights. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2002; 10(3): 239-55.
  52. Salloway Stephen, Correia Stephen, Boyle Patricia, Malloy Paul, Schneider Lon, Lavretsky Helen, Sackheim Harold, Roose Steven, Krishnan K Ranga Rama. MRI subcortical hyperintensities in old and very old depressed outpatients: the important role of age in late-life depression. Journal of the neurological sciences, 2002; 203-204(1): 227-33.
  53. Lavretsky Helen, Bastani Roshan, Gould Robert, Huang David, Llorente Maria, Maxwell Annette, Jarvik Lissy, Jarvik Lissy. Predictors of two-year mortality in a prospective "UPBEAT" study of elderly veterans with comorbid medical and psychiatric symptoms. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2002; 10(4): 458-68.
  54. Lavretsky Helen, Kitchen Christina, Mintz Jim, Kim Moon-Doo, Estanol Laverne, Kumar Anand. Medical burden, cerebrovascular disease, and cognitive impairment in geriatric depression: modeling the relationships with the CART analysis. CNS spectrums, 2002; 7(10): 716-22.
  55. Kumar Anand, Thomas Albert, Lavretsky Helen, Yue Kenneth, Huda Amir, Curran John, Venkatraman Talaignair, Estanol Laverne, Mintz Jim, Mega Michael, Toga Arthur. Frontal white matter biochemical abnormalities in late-life major depression detected with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The American journal of psychiatry, 2002; 159(4): 630-6.
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