Debby Tsuang, MD, MSc

Personal Statement

Over the past 20 years, my research has focused on the genetics of schizophrenia and neurodegenerative disorders, particularly on the use of clinical phenotyping and innovative genomic technologies to elucidate the complex genetic architecture underlying schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). I currently serve as Director of the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS) and Co-PI of the Clinical Core of the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC). In these capacities, I direct multidisciplinary efforts to better understand the biology, genetics, etiology, prevention, and treatment of these disorders, and I provide clinical expertise for the differential diagnosis of psychotic disorders and neurodegenerative disorders.  

Education

Additional certification in geriatric psychiatry

Department Affiliations

Teaching Philosophy

​I am interested in helping trainees to discover the patients and their diseases that capture their passions and curiosities. As they seek that niche, I believe it is critical to develop a comprehensive, holistic treatment approach to their patients. To that end, I hope to help trainees develop foundational knowledge concerning the complex medical, psychiatric, and psychosocial challenges that affect patients. I also believe that it is important to view those intersections in the context of the individual. When we see our patients as people who are part of a family and a web of connections beyond the self—and not just a patient ID number or DSM diagnosis—we are better able to understand both our patients’ illnesses and the ways in which their experiences of those illnesses affect them and their families.​

Recent Publications

Anticholinergic Medication Burden-Associated Cognitive Impairment in Schizophrenia.
(2021 Sep 1)
Am J Psychiatry 178(9): 838-847
Joshi YB, Thomas ML, Braff DL, Green MF, Gur RC, Gur RE, Nuechterlein KH, Stone WS, Greenwood TA, Lazzeroni LC, MacDonald LR, Molina JL, Nungaray JA, Radant AD, Silverman JM, Sprock J, Sugar CA, Tsuang DW, Tsuang MT, Turetsky BI, Swerdlow NR, Light GA

Heritability of acoustic startle magnitude and latency from the consortium on the genetics of schizophrenia.
(2020 Oct)
Schizophr Res 224(): 33-39
Greenwood TA, Swerdlow NR, Sprock J, Calkins ME, Freedman R, Green MF, Gur RE, Gur RC, Lazzeroni LC, Light GA, Nuechterlein KH, Radant AD, Silverman JM, Stone WS, Sugar CA, Tsuang DW, Tsuang MT, Turetsky BI, Braff DL, Duncan E

Suicide and Lewy body dementia: Report of a Lewy body dementia association working group.
(2021 Mar)
Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 36(3): 373-382
Armstrong MJ, Sullivan JL, Amodeo K, Lunde A, Tsuang DW, Reger MA, Conwell Y, Ritter A, Bang J, Onyike CU, Mari Z, Corsentino P, Taylor A

Criteria for Psychosis in Major and Mild Neurocognitive Disorders: International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA) Consensus Clinical and Research Definition.
(2020 Dec)
Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 28(12): 1256-1269
Cummings J, Pinto LC, Cruz M, Fischer CE, Gerritsen DL, Grossberg GT, Hwang TJ, Ismail Z, Jeste DV, Koopmans R, Lanctot KL, Mateos R, Peschin S, Sampaio C, Tsuang D, Wang H, Zhong K, Bain LJ, Sano M

Mild COVID-19 Disease Course With Protracted Delirium in a Cognitively Impaired Patient Over the Age of 85 Years.
(2020 Aug 6)
Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 22(4):
Payne S, Jankowski A, Shutes-David A, Ritchey K, Tsuang DW

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