Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Steven E. Arnold, MD

Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Section
Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology
Director, PENN Memory Center
Director, Cellular and Molecular Neuropathology Program
Associate Director, Institute on Aging

Dr. Arnold is Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving his MD from Boston University, Dr. Arnold completed residency training in Psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York and residency training in Neurology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. He also completed fellowship training in Behavioral Neurology/Cognitive Neuroscience and was a post-doctoral associate in Neuroanatomy in Iowa. Dr. Arnold is board certified in both psychiatry and neurology. He is currently Director of the PENN Memory Center of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Section in the Department of Psychiatry, Director of the Cellular and Molecular Neuropathology Program in the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, and Associate Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute on Aging. Dr. Arnold has authored over 120 scientific articles and his research has garnered numerous awards.

Clinical Interests

A psychiatrist and neurologist, Dr. Arnold specializes in the evaluation and management of complex cognitive and psychiatric syndromes associated with aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and other neurological injuries and illnesses. Particular interests include memory disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, frontotemporal dementias, Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementias, uncommon dementias, and the long-term effects of psychiatric illness on thinking and memory in older adults.

Research Interests

Dr. Arnold's two principal areas of research are the aging brain and the neurobiology of severe mental illnesses. He is Co-Director and Clinical Core Leader of Penn’s Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center. He has conducted longstanding research on neurodegenerative pathology and "cerebral reserve" in relation to cognitive decline in late life. Dr. Arnold leads a broad translational clinical and translational research program examining cognition in aging and has a developing interest in the role of psychological distress and psychiatric illness in cognitive decline and dementia in later life. Studies span clinical trials, phenomenology and neuropsychology, molecular neuroimaging and clinical electrophysiology, biochemical biomarkers, epidemiology-scale molecular neuropathology in postmortem tissues, and rodent models of chronic stress effects on aging, behavior, and neuropathology.

Dr. Arnold also directs the Cellular and Molecular Neuropathology Program in the Department of Psychiatry's Center for Neurobiology and Behavior. In addition to laboratory studies of aging and neurodegeneration, he leads a clinicopathological and neurobiological studies program focused on the cellular, biochemical and molecular neuropathology of schizophrenia using human postmortem tissues and genetic and non-genetic mouse models. Current studies examine synaptic integrity, function, and receptor interactions in glutamatergic and GABAergic microcircuitry of the limbic forebrain, the expression and function of dysbindin (a protein genetically associated with schizophrenia and glutamatergic function), and stress-gene interaction effects on mouse behavior and neuropathology.

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