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 served as the Director of the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the VA Puget Sound Health (VAPS) from 2011-2022, in order to focus on my research on Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders. My current research interests are two-pronged: 1) develop machine learning models in VA’s vast electronic health records in order to assign ADRD probability scores in older Black and White Veterans; and 2) use mobile health devices to promote early diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies. In 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  neurodegenerative disorders and treatment of behavioral disturbances in dementias.



Additional certification in geriatric psychiatry

Department Affiliations

Other Affiliations

University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Center

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

Identification of Rare Damaging Missense and Loss of Function Variants in GWAS Loci Using Genome Sequencing Data from Two Cohorts of Familial Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease.
(2023 Dec 18)
Gunasekaran TI, Reyes-Dumeyer D, Faber KM, Goate A, Boeve B, Cruchaga C, Pericak-Vance M, Haines JL, Rosenberg R, Tsuang D, Mejia DR, Medrano M, Lantigua RA, Sweet RA, Bennett DA, Wilson RS, Foroud T, Vardarajan BN, Mayeux R

Autonomic dysregulation during sleep in Parkinsonian spectrum disorders - A proof of concept.
(2023 Dec)
Parkinsonism Relat Disord 117(): 105905
Cho Y, Levendowski DJ, Walsh CM, Tsuang D, Lee-Iannotti JK, Berka C, Mazeika G, Salat D, Hamilton JM, Boeve BF, Neylan TC, St Louis EK

Proof-of-concept for characterization of neurodegenerative disorders utilizing two non-REM sleep biomarkers.
Front Neurol 14(): 1272369
Levendowski DJ, Neylan TC, Walsh CM, Tsuang D, Salat D, Hamilton JM, Lee-Iannotti JK, Berka C, Mazeika G, Boeve BF, St Louis EK

Pimavanserin Treatment for Psychosis in Patients with Dementia with Lewy Bodies: A Case Series.
(2023 Sep 30)
Am J Case Rep 24(): e939806
Rothenberg KG, McRae SG, Dominguez-Colman LM, Shutes-David A, Tsuang DW

ATN cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in dementia with Lewy bodies: Initial results from the United States Dementia with Lewy Bodies Consortium.
(2024 Jan)
Alzheimers Dement 20(1): 549-562
Jain L, Khrestian M, Formica S, Tuason ED, Pillai JA, Rao S, Oguh O, Lippa CF, Lopez OL, Berman SB, Tsuang DW, Zabetian CP, Irwin DJ, Galasko DR, Litvan I, Marder KS, Honig LS, Fleisher JE, Galvin JE, Bozoki AC, Taylor AS, Sabbagh MN, Leverenz JB, Bekris LM

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