Nancy Emerson Lombardo, PhD

Adjunct Research Assistant Professor of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center

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President and Founder of Brain Health and Wellness Center, Acton, MA



Dr. Emerson Lombardo completed her undergraduate students at Cornell University in New York. She earned her doctoral degree from Yale University. She joined the Boston University School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology in 2001 as an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor of Neurology. Dr. Emerson Lombardo is an investigator with the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Research Interests

Dr. Emerson Lombardo is dedicated to researching how nutrition, exercise, and other healthy lifestyles can positively affect a person’s cognition and mood.

ADC Role

Dr. Emerson Lombardo is an investigator at the Alzheimer’s Disease Center.  Dr. Emerson Lombardo developed and leads the Memory Preservation Nutrition program, an evidence-based nutritional intervention designed to reduce risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease for all ages, and to slow progression in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment or early Alzheimer’s Disease. This program has been adopted by several healthcare facilities an adult day health program for people with Alzheimer’s, stroke and other brain conditions, and a religious community.

At BUSM the Memory Preservation Nutrition program inspired the creation of the Nutritional Supplement Combination Therapy, a combination of encapsulated plant-based supplements (dehydrated fruits, vegetables, and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices) together with fish oils and vitamin D.  A Phase I open label clinical trial with cognitively normal older adults was recently conducted at BUSM with funding from the national Alzheimer’s Association.  Interim findings to date show feasibility and safety, with fewer adverse events at post test than at baseline.  Effectiveness results are not yet available.  This approach also inspired colleagues led by Jon Valla, Ph.D. at Midwestern University in Arizona to conduct a successful clinical trial with triple transgenic Alzheimer’s mice which reported significant improvements in mitochondrial function in important brain regions.

Dr. Emerson Lombardo served as the primary investigator for BEST (Brain Enhancement Strengthening Treatment Study) a pilot clinical trial which tested a cognitive rehabilitation intervention for people with early Alzheimer’s disease.  At Wellesley Centers for Women she conducted the first clinical trial of acupuncture to treat persons with dementia; an open label Phase I trial reported that acupuncture was feasible, safe and significantly reduced anxiety.  She also conducted at HRCA the first randomized clinical trial of dance movement therapy for people with dementia and showed that DMT significantly reduced anxiety.  Dr. Emerson Lombardo also conducted a national policy study of dementia caregiver interventions.  And at HRCA developed a pilot intervention serving African American caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease.


Dr. Emerson Lombardo is the recipient several awards including the Alzheimer’s Association Board of Directors’ Distinguished Service Award. Nancy is a co-founder of both the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Disease International and serves on the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. She served on the national Alzheimer’s Association Board of Directors as Vice-President for many years, chaired both the Chapter Development Committee and the Public Policy Committee, and currently serves as Board Member Emeritus. Dr. Emerson Lombardo is a graduate of Cornell University and completed her doctorate degree from Yale University.

Recent Publications

Emerson Lombardo NB. Brain Healthy Foods: Menus and Recipes, Volume 1. Brain Health and Wellness Center, December 2015.

Emerson Lombardo NB. Memory Preservation Nutrition: A Practical Evidence-Based Program For Brain Health. LPN-Q :The  Quarterly  Journal  of  the  Life  Planning Ne vol. 2. issue 3 Summer 2015

Emerson Lombardo NB.  Food for Thought: Evidence-Based Memory Preservation Nutrition.  Learn about a Program Dieticians Should Introduce to Clients and Patients. Today’s Dietician.  Forthcoming fall 2014.

Emerson Lombardo NB.  Evidence-Based Memory Preservation Nutrition.  Today’s Geriatric Medicine. Nov-Dec 2013. 6(6):26.

Emerson Lombardo, NB.  “Alzheimer’s Disease” in James Rippe, MD editor, Encyclopedia on Lifestyle Medicine and Health.   New York: Sage. (In press).

Kounti F, Bakoglidou E, Agogiatou C, Emerson Lombardo NB, Serper LL, Tsolaki M. RHEA , a non pharmacological cognitive training intervention in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): A pilot study.   Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. October/December 2011 – Volume 27 – Issue 4 – p 289–300    doi: 10.1097/TGR.0b013e31821e59a9

Wolf AB, Braden BB, Bimonte-Nelson H, Kusne Y, Young N, Engler-Chiurazzi E, Garcia AN, Walker DG, Moses GSD, Hung Tran H, LaFerla F, LihFen Lue, Emerson Lombardo N, Valla J. Broad-based nutritional supplementation in 3xTG mice corrects mitochondrial function and indicates sex-specificity in response to Alzheimer’s intervention. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2012;32(1):217-32.

Emerson Lombardo, N. B, Volicer, L., Auerbach, S.H., Matson, W., Matson, S. Valla, J. (2010). Nutritional Supplement Combination Therapy Feasibility, Safety and Biomarker Clinical Trial in Cognitively Normal Adults.  The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging: 14: (9) p. 800.

Wu, B., Emerson Lombardo, N. B, Chang, K. (2010). Dementia Care Programs and Services for Chinese Americans in the U.S. Ageing International; 35 (2), 128-141.

Emerson Lombardo, N. B., Volicer, L .Martin, A,.Wu B and Zhang XW. (2006) Memory Preservation Diet To Reduce Risk and Slow Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. in Vellas, B., Grundman, M., Feldman, H., Fitten, L.J., Winblad, B., ed., Research and Practice in Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Decline, vol 9,: 138-159.

Emerson Lombardo, N. B., Volicer, L., Drebing, C. E., Martin, A. Castaneda-Sceppa, C., Bermudez, O., Wu ,B., Imada, T., Holmes, M.S., Zhang X.W. (2004). Nutritional intervention for early Alzheimer’s Disease (NEAD). The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging Vol 8,No.5, p.428.

Emerson Lombardo, N. B., Dresser, M.V.B., Malivert, M., McManus, C., Vehvilainen, L, Ooi, W. L., Xu, G., Rosowsky, E., Drebing, C. E., Sheridan, P.L., Lewis, S., Imada, T, Hohnstein, J.K., Perry, K. (2001). Acupuncture as treatment for anxiety and depression in persons with dementia: Results of a pilot feasibility and effectiveness study. Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly; 4:2, 28-41.