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Peter V Rabins, MD

Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Program, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
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  • Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Program, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Training Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Centers & Institutes

  • Berman Institute for Bioethics
  • Memory Disorders Center
  • The Peter Rabins Alzheimers Family Support Center


Adult Psychiatry, Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia, Geriatric Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatry, Psychiatry

Research Interests

End-of-life care for people with dementia; Measuring quality of life in dementia; Consent issues in dementia research; The study of factors influencing the detection and progression of dementia in the community; The testing of a model of care for persons with dementia living in the community


Dr. Peter V. Rabins is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His area of clinical expertise includes adult psychiatry, Alzheimer''s disease and dementia.

Dr. Rabins serves as the director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and training director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship.

He has spent his career studying psychiatric disorders in the elderly. Along with Dr. Marshal Folstein, he was the first to demonstrate that delirium predicted increased mortality in the year after discharge from the hospital, a finding that has since been widely replicated. Dr. Rabins also published the earliest paper establishing the high prevalence of psychiatric symptoms in patients with dementia and demonstrated that these symptoms correlate with distress in family caregivers. In 1981, he co-authored with Nancy Mace The 36-Hour Day, an internationally recognized guidebook for families caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Dr. Rabins received his B.A. in political science from the University of Florida. He earned his M.D. from Tulane University and his M.P.H. from the Tulane University School of Public Health. He completed a psychiatry residency at the University of Oregon and performed a one-year fellowship in consultation/liaison and neuropsychiatry at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Rabins joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1978 and has been a professor of psychiatry since 1993. He became the inaugural Richman Family Professor of Alzheimer's and Related Diseases in 2009.

Dr. Rabins founded the geriatric service at Johns Hopkins in 1978. He serves as the principal investigator on a National Institute of Mental Health study of Alzheimer’s disease in the community and a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke study of late-stage care for Alzheimer’s disease patients.

He has chaired two American Psychiatric Association task forces that developed treatment guidelines for dementia and has published extensively in such journals as the American Journal of Psychiatry, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and Journal of Mental Health. He was recognized by the American Psychiatric Association with the Jack Weinberg Memorial Award for Geriatric Psychiatry in 2013.


  • English

Additional Resources

Additional Resources +
  • Education +


    • Tulane University School of Medicine (New Orleans LA ) (1973)


    • Oregon Health & Sciences University Hospital (Portland OR ) (1977)


    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore MD ) (1978)


    • Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology (1980)
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    Dr. Rabins’ current research includes the development of scales to measure impairment in people with severe dementia and the study of visual hallucinations in a variety of psychiatric and neurological conditions.

    Selected Publications

    1. Tschanz JT, Piercy K, Corcoran CD, Fauth E, Norton MC, Rabins PV, Tschanz BT, Deberard MS, Snyder C, Smith C, Lee L, Lyketsos CG. “Caregiver coping strategies predict cognitive and functional decline in dementia: the Cache County Dementia Progression Study.” Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 Jan;21(1):57-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2012.10.005. Epub 2013 Jan 2.
    2. Mielke MM, Bandaru VV, Haughey NJ, Xia J, Fried LP, Yasar S, Albert M, Varma V, Harris G, Schneider EB, Rabins PV, Bandeen-Roche K, Lyketsos CG, Carlson MC. “Serum ceramides increase the risk of Alzheimer disease: the Women's Health and Aging Study II.” Neurology. 2012 Aug 14;79(7):633-41. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318264e380. Epub 2012 Jul 18.
    3. Buckley T, Fauth EB, Morrison A, Tschanz J, Rabins PV, Piercy KW, Norton M, Lyketsos CG. “Predictors of quality of life ratings for persons with dementia simultaneously reported by patients and their caregivers: the Cache County (Utah) Study.” Int Psychogeriatr. 2012 Jul;24(7):1094-102. doi: 10.1017/S1041610212000063. Epub 2012 Mar 14.
    4. Pontone GM, Palanci J, Bienvenu OJ, Liang KY, Nestadt G, Rabins PV, Williams JR, Marsh L. “Familial aggregation of panic disturbances in Parkinson's disease.” J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2011 Fall;23(4):417-24. doi: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.23.4.417.
    5. Piven J, Rabins P; Autism-in-Older Adults Working Group. “Autism spectrum disorders in older adults: toward defining a research agenda.” J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Nov;59(11):2151-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03632.x. Epub 2011 Nov 8. Review.
  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +

    Graduate Program Affiliation

    Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 

    Courses and Syllabi

    Clinical Neuropsychiatry Clerkship (Course Director)

  • Activities & Honors +


    Jack Weinberg Memorial Award for Geriatric Psychiatry, American Psychiatric Association, 2013

    “Top Therapists,” Washingtonian Magazine, 2009

  • Videos & Media +


    How Do You Know If You Have Alzheimers Disease?

    What are the early symptoms of Alzheimers? Learn when to get a professional evaluation.

    Learning Not to Argue - Memory and Alzheimer's Disease

    Caregiver tips for learning to accept a different reality and for being patient and kind.

    Driving - Memory and Alzheimer's Disease

    Caregiver tips to help a family member stop driving.

    Dressing and Bathing - Memory and Alzheimer's Disease

    Caregiver tips for dressing and bathing a person with Alzheimer's disease.

    Behaviors - Memory and Alzheimer's Disease

    Caregiver tips for dealing with problem behaviors such as wandering and aggression.

    Caregiver Guilt - Memory and Alzheimer's Disease

    How to deal with caregiver guilt when caring for an Alzheimer's patient.

    Video Links

  • Events +
  • Contact & Locations +


    The Johns Hopkins Hospital
    600 N. Wolfe Street
    Sheikh Zayed Tower
    Baltimore, MD 21287
    Phone: 410-955-6736
    Appointment Phone: 410-955-5147
    Location Map


    • Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

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