James F Sumowski, PhD Email James Sumowski
- ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR | Neurology
- ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR | Psychiatry
- Hospital Affiliation
- The Mount Sinai Hospital
James F. Sumowski, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Mount Sinai and the clinical neuropsychologist at the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Dr. Sumowski is an expert on cognition in persons with MS, and he introduced the concept of “reserve” against cognitive decline in MS: the observation that genetic and environmental factors can moderate deleterious effects of disease on functional outcomes (representative article: Sumowski et al., Neurology 2014). The Sumowski Laboratory works to advance understanding and improvement of functional outcomes. Toward this end, Dr. Sumowski is the PI of a large prospective National Institutes of Health (NIH / NICHD) R01 grant to identify modifiable risk and protective factors linked to cognitive decline, which will inform future interventions.
Dr. Sumowski is a leader in the field. He recently led an international group of MS experts toward a joint statement of knowledge gaps, obstacles, and research priorities for the field of cognition in persons with MS (Sumowski et al., Neurology 2018). In addition to outlining several specific recommendations for research and clinical practice, the statement highlights the critical need to develop testable and biologically plausible models of cognitive decline due to MS, which will lay the groundwork for much-needed evidence-based rehabilitation.
Dr. Sumowski is Co-Director of the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai, which will prepare trainees for careers as clinician-researchers in academic medical center settings. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he serves as dissertation mentor for Ph.D. candidates.
- Cognitive Neurology
- Memory Disorder
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neuropsychological testing
Cognitive Neuroscience, Memory, Multiple Sclerosis
BA, Seton Hall University
PhD, Columbia University
Long Island Jewish Medical Center
New Jersey Medical School - Rutgers University
Reserve against Cognitive Decline due to Multiple Sclerosis
Cognitive decline is common among persons with neurologic diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS); however, some persons are better able to withstand neurologic disease without difficulties in thinking or memory. Dr. Sumowski's research seeks to identify sources of "reserve" against cognitive decline in persons with MS. He has shown that persons with MS who lead more mentally-active lifestyles (e.g., reading, hobbies) are at lower risk for disease-related cognitive decline. Dr. Sumowski's current work seeks to identify a range of modifiable lifestyle factors contributing to reserve, with the goal of advancing primary prevention of cognitive difficulties due to MS.
Memory Treatments for Persons with Multiple Sclerosis
Memory deficits are among the most common cognitive difficulties experienced by persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), with negative consequences for employment and overall quality of life. There are currently no validated treatments for MS memory impairment. Dr. Sumowski has published early stage research investigating memory interventions through the use of cognitive strategies, lifestyle modifications, and pharmaceutical interventions. Dr. Sumowski is engaging in research to better understand the neural basis of memory deficits due to MS, which will inform the development of novel treatments with greater promise for success.
Sumowski JF, Benedict R, Enzinger C, Filippi M, Geurts JJ, Hamalainen P, Hulst H, Inglese M, Leavitt VM, Rocca MA, Rosti-Otajarvi EM, Rao S. Cognition in multiple sclerosis: State of the field and priorities for the future. Neurology 2018; 90: 278-288.
Sumowski JF, McDonnell GV, Bourdette D. Diet in multiple sclerosis: Science takes a seat at the table [editorial]. Neurology 2018 Jan; 90(1).
Krieger SC, Sumowski J. New Insights into Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Course from the Topographical Model and Functional Reserve [review]. Neurologic clinics 2018 Feb; 36(1).
Leavitt VM, Blanchard AR, Guo CY, Gelernt E, Sumowski JF, Stein J. Aspirin is an effective pretreatment for exercise in multiple sclerosis: A double-blind randomized controlled pilot trial. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) 2017 Oct;.
Sumowski JF, Leavitt VM, Rocca MA, Inglese M, Riccitelli G, Buyukturkoglu K, Meani A, Filippi M. Mesial temporal lobe and subcortical grey matter volumes differentially predict memory across stages of multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) 2017 May;.
Leavitt VM, Buyukturkoglu K, Inglese M, Sumowski JF. Protective personality traits: High openness and low neuroticism linked to better memory in multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) 2017 Nov; 23(13).
Sumowski JF, Rocca MA, Leavitt VM, Meani A, Mesaros S, Drulovic J, Preziosa P, Habeck CG, Filippi M. Brain reserve against physical disability progression over 5 years in multiple sclerosis. Neurology 2016 May; 86(21).
Sumowski JF, Rocca MA, Leavitt VM, Riccitelli G, Meani A, Comi G, Filippi M. Reading, writing, and reserve: Literacy activities are linked to hippocampal volume and memory in multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) 2016 Oct; 22(12).
Sandry J, Paxton J, Sumowski JF. General Mathematical Ability Predicts PASAT Performance in MS Patients: Implications for Clinical Interpretation and Cognitive Reserve. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS 2016 Mar; 22(3).
Leavitt VM, De Meo E, Riccitelli G, Rocca MA, Comi G, Filippi M, Sumowski JF. Elevated body temperature is linked to fatigue in an Italian sample of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients. Journal of neurology 2015 Nov; 262(11).
Sumowski JF. Educational attainment and cognitive status in MS: Reading, writing, and economics [editorial]. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) 2015 Sep; 21(10).
Rocca MA, Amato MP, De Stefano N, Enzinger C, Geurts JJ, Penner IK, Rovira A, Sumowski JF, Valsasina P, Filippi M. Clinical and imaging assessment of cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis. The Lancet. Neurology 2015 Mar; 14(3).
Sumowski JF, Rocca MA, Leavitt VM, Riccitelli G, Sandry J, DeLuca J, Comi G, Filippi M. Searching for the neural basis of reserve against memory decline: intellectual enrichment linked to larger hippocampal volume in multiple sclerosis. European journal of neurology 2016 Jan; 23(1).
Coyne JH, Borg JM, DeLuca J, Glass L, Sumowski JF. Retrieval practice as an effective memory strategy in children and adolescents with traumatic brain injury. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 2015 Apr; 96(4).
Leavitt VM, Paxton J, Sumowski JF. Default network connectivity is linked to memory status in multiple sclerosis. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS 2014 Oct; 20(9).
Sandry J, Sumowski JF. Working memory mediates the relationship between intellectual enrichment and long-term memory in multiple sclerosis: an exploratory analysis of cognitive reserve. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS 2014 Sep; 20(8).
Sumowski JF, Rocca MA, Leavitt VM, Dackovic J, Mesaros S, Drulovic J, DeLuca J, Filippi M. Brain reserve and cognitive reserve protect against cognitive decline over 4.5 years in MS. Neurology 2014 May; 82(20).
Sumowski JF, Leavitt VM. Body temperature is elevated and linked to fatigue in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, even without heat exposure. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 2014 Jul; 95(7).
Pinter D, Sumowski J, DeLuca J, Fazekas F, Pichler A, Khalil M, Langkammer C, Fuchs S, Enzinger C. Higher education moderates the effect of T2 lesion load and third ventricle width on cognition in multiple sclerosis. PloS one 2014; 9(1).
Sumowski JF, Coyne J, Cohen A, Deluca J. Retrieval practice improves memory in survivors of severe traumatic brain injury. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 2014 Feb; 95(2).
Leavitt VM, Cirnigliaro C, Cohen A, Farag A, Brooks M, Wecht JM, Wylie GR, Chiaravalloti ND, DeLuca J, Sumowski JF. Aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume and improves memory in multiple sclerosis: preliminary findings. Neurocase 2014; 20(6).
Sumowski JF, Chiaravalloti N, Krch D, Paxton J, Deluca J. Education attenuates the negative impact of traumatic brain injury on cognitive status. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 2013 Dec; 94(12).
Sumowski JF, Leavitt VM. Cognitive reserve in multiple sclerosis [review]. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) 2013 Aug; 19(9).
Sumowski JF, Leavitt VM, Cohen A, Paxton J, Chiaravalloti ND, DeLuca J. Retrieval practice is a robust memory aid for memory-impaired patients with MS. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) 2013 Dec; 19(14).
Sumowski JF, Rocca MA, Leavitt VM, Riccitelli G, Comi G, DeLuca J, Filippi M. Brain reserve and cognitive reserve in multiple sclerosis: what you've got and how you use it. Neurology 2013 Jun; 80(24).
Wylie GR, Genova H, DeLuca J, Chiaravalloti N, Sumowski JF. Functional magnetic resonance imaging movers and shakers: does subject-movement cause sampling bias?. Human brain mapping 2014 Jan; 35(1).
Sumowski JF, Wylie GR, Leavitt VM, Chiaravalloti ND, DeLuca J. Default network activity is a sensitive and specific biomarker of memory in multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) 2013 Feb; 19(2).
Leavitt VM, Sumowski JF, Chiaravalloti N, Deluca J. Warmer outdoor temperature is associated with worse cognitive status in multiple sclerosis. Neurology 2012 Mar; 78(13).
Sumowski JF, Chiaravalloti N, Leavitt VM, Deluca J. Cognitive reserve in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) 2012 Oct; 18(10).
Sumowski JF, Chiaravalloti N, Erlanger D, Kaushik T, Benedict RH, DeLuca J. L-amphetamine improves memory in MS patients with objective memory impairment. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) 2011 Sep; 17(9).
Krch D, Sumowski JF, DeLuca J, Chiaravalloti N. Subjective memory in multiple sclerosis is associated with initial-trial learning performance. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS 2011 May; 17(3).
Sumowski JF, Wylie GR, Gonnella A, Chiaravalloti N, Deluca J. Premorbid cognitive leisure independently contributes to cognitive reserve in multiple sclerosis. Neurology 2010 Oct; 75(16).
Sumowski JF, Wood HG, Chiaravalloti N, Wylie GR, Lengenfelder J, DeLuca J. Retrieval practice: a simple strategy for improving memory after traumatic brain injury. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS 2010 Nov; 16(6).
Sumowski JF, Wylie GR, Chiaravalloti N, DeLuca J. Intellectual enrichment lessens the effect of brain atrophy on learning and memory in multiple sclerosis. Neurology 2010 Jun; 74(24).
Sumowski JF, Chiaravalloti N, Deluca J. Retrieval practice improves memory in multiple sclerosis: clinical application of the testing effect. Neuropsychology 2010 Mar; 24(2).
Sumowski JF, Wylie GR, Deluca J, Chiaravalloti N. Intellectual enrichment is linked to cerebral efficiency in multiple sclerosis: functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence for cognitive reserve. Brain : a journal of neurology 2010 Feb; 133(Pt 2).
Sumowski JF, Chiaravalloti N, Wylie G, Deluca J. Cognitive reserve moderates the negative effect of brain atrophy on cognitive efficiency in multiple sclerosis. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS 2009 Jul; 15(4).
Sumowski JF, Chiaravalloti N, DeLuca J. Cognitive reserve protects against cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis. Journal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology 2009 Nov; 31(8).
Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.
Dr.Sumowski did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2017 and/or 2018: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.
Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.
Physicians who provide services at hospitals and facilities in the Mount Sinai Health System might not participate in the same health plans as those Mount Sinai hospitals and facilities (even if the physicians are employed or contracted by those hospitals or facilities).
Information regarding insurance participation and billing by this physician may be found on this page, and can also be obtained by contacting this provider directly. Because physicians insurance participation can change, the insurance information on this page may not always be up-to-date. Please contact this physician directly to obtain the most up-to-date insurance information.
Insurance and health plan networks that the various Mount Sinai Health System hospitals and facilities participate in can be found on the Mount Sinai Health System website.