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Constantine (Kostas) G. Lyketsos, M.D., M.P.H., one of the world’s experts on how best to treat and care for patients with dementia, and recently appointed Director of Psychiatry at Hopkins Bayview, was honored with an endowed chair. On Thursday, May 3, Lyketsos becomes the first recipient of the Elizabeth Plank Althouse professorship for Alzheimer’s Research.
For almost two decades, Lyketsos has worked to fill the considerable void in the understanding of dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease. He’s called attention to the range of psychiatric problems such as depression and delusions that patients suffer, in addition to the cognitive decline that defines their illness. Most recently, he’s charged a broadly-skilled team with identifying Alzheimer’s biomarkers, the biological signatures that would not only quicken diagnosis but that could also lead to therapies.
But beyond his defining dementia—and, with colleagues, providing the country with a realistic description of the state of its treatment—Lyketsos has long made and enlightened care a goal. He was instrumental in setting up Copper Ridge, a nationally recognized site for care of those with memory-impairing illness. He helped create The Copper Ridge Institute, a focused research program within that long-term care facility that has refined best care practices in this country.
A 2006 winner of the William S. Proxmire award “for extraordinary leadership in the care and treatment of people with Alzheimer’s disease,” Lyketsos has been associated with Johns Hopkins since 1988, when he began here as an intern and then a resident in Psychiatry. He completed fellowships in psychiatric epidemiology and neuropsychiatry and holds an additional degree in epidemiology, with a certificate from Hopkins in the business of medicine.
A distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Lyketsos has written more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and commentaries. With colleagues Peter Rabins, M.D., and Cynthia Steele, R.N., he’s a co-author of Practical Dementia Care, a book that outlines the Hopkins model for helping patients. Consistently cited in America’s Top Doctors, he’s held a joint faculty appointment at Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health since 1994.
The Family Behind the Elizabeth Plank Althouse Endowment
Elizabeth Plank Althouse (1901-1995) and Ernest Emanuel Althouse (1904-2006) were both employees of Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation in Poughkeepsie, NY. An electrical engineer, Mr. Althouse rose steadily through the company’s ranks, becoming company president in 1968. Mrs. Althouse, a graduate of Skidmore College in 1924, left Central Hudson Gas, working as a home service director for the New York State Emergency Food Commission.
For years, the Althouses were honored for their professional and volunteer service. Mrs. Althouse, for example, was awarded a life membership of the Board of Directors of the Dutchess County Unit of the American Cancer Society for her considerable efforts. Through their philanthropic plans, the family demonstrated great care and forethought, as a 1997 letter from Mr. Althouse revealed: “My interest in Johns Hopkins Medicine remains as supportive as ever,” he wrote. “Some day it will be evidenced in a way which will be a very pleasing surprise to Johns Hopkins.”