Nancy Emerson Lombardo

Adjunct Research Assistant Professor of Neurology, Chobanian & Avedisian SOM and Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center


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 Chobanian & Avedisian 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 Chobanian & Avedisian SOM 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 Chobanian & Avedisian SOM 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.

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