Faculty Profile

Dr. Helena M. Blumen, Ph.D.

Helena M. Blumen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Geriatrics)

Assistant Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology

Professional Interests

I’m a cognitive neuroscientist with particular expertise and training in cognitive and motor aging, magnetic resonance imaging and clinical research methods. I completed my Ph.D in Cognitive Psychology at Stony Brook University in 2008 and an MS in Clinical Research Methods at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2018. I also completed a T32 NIH/NIA postdoctoral fellowship in the Neuropsychology of Cognition in Aging Training Program at Columbia University Medical Center in 2011, and a neuroimaging fellowship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2013. I’m currently an assistant professor of Medicine (Geriatrics) and Neurology (Division of Cognitive and Motor Aging) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The overall theme of my research is to optimize gait and cognition in aging. I examine the potential for using collaboration, computer-based actions games, motor imagery and social dancing as a tool to improve cognition and mobility in aging and pre-dementia. The ultimate goal of my laboratory-based studies is to develop and test interventions that can be used to optimize cognition in community-dwellling older adults, and older adults that reside in nursing homes or naturally-occurring retirement communities. 

I currently coordinate the processing and analysis of neuroimaging data from ongoing NIH/NIA funded studies in our division (1R01 AG044007-01A1, 1RO1AG036920-01A1, 1R56AG057548-01). I am also the recipient of a career development award from the National Institute on Aging (1K01AG049829-01A1), which examines the therapeutic potential of motor imagery for improving gait and cognition in aging. I was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Junior Research Manuscript Award from the American Geriatrics Society for the paper: Blumen, H.M. Holtzer, R., Brown, L.L, Gazes, Y & Verghese, J. (2014). Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Imagined Walking and Walking-While-Talking in the Elderly. Human Brain Mapping, 35(8)4090-104. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22461. PubMed PMID: 24522972; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4106989

Selected Publications

Cotton, K., Verghese, J., & Blumen, H.M. (2019) Gray matter volume covariance networks, social support and cognition in older adults. The journals of Gerontology: Series B. Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.

Tripathi, S., Verghese, J., & Blumen, H. M. (2019). Gray matter volume covariance networks associated with dual‐task cost during walking‐while‐talking. Human Brain Mapping. doi: 10.1002/hbm.24520

Allali, G., Blumen, H. M., Devanne, H., Pirondini, E., Delval, A., & Van De Ville, D. (2018). Brain imaging of locomotion in neurological conditions. Neurophysiologie Clinique.

Blumen, H. M., & Verghese, J. (2018). Gray matter volume covariance networks associated with social networks in older adults. Social neuroscience, 1-12.

Blumen, H.M., Allali, G., Beauchet, O., Lipton, R. B., & Verghese, J. (2018). A Gray Matter Volume Covariance Network Associated with the Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome: A Multi-Cohort MRI Study. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences.

Allali, G., Montembeault, M., Brambati, S. M., Bherer, L., Blumen, H. M., Launay, C. P., ... & Beauchet, O. (2018). Brain Structure Covariance Associated with Gait Control in Aging. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A.

Blumen, H.M., Brown, L.L., Habeck, C., Allali, G., Ayers, E., Beauchet, O., Callisaya, M., Lipton, R.B., Mathuranath, P.S., Phan T.G., Kumar, P., Srikanth, V., Verghese, J (2018). Gray Matter Volume Covariance Patterns Associated with Gait Speed in Older Adults: A Multi-Cohort MRI Study. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 1-15. 

Blumen, H.M (2018). Collaborative Memory Interventions for Age-Related and Alzheimer Disease-Related Memory Decline. Chapter in “Collaborative Remembering: Theories, research and applications” Edited by Meade, Harris, Van Bergen, Sutton & Barnier, Oxford University Press

Blumen, H.M & Verghese, J (2017). Motor Imagery of Walking and Walking While Talking: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial Protocol for Older Adults. Neurodegenerative Disease Management.

Chen, M., Blumen, H.M., Izzetoglu, M., Holtzer, R. (2017). Spatial co-registration of functional near-infrared spectroscopy to brain MRI. Journal of Neuroimaging. doi: 10.1111/jon.12432. PMID: 28266747

Allali G., Launay C.P., Blumen H.M., Callisaya M.L., De Cock A.M., Kressig R.W., Srikanth V., Steinmetz J.P., Verghese J., Beauchet, O. (2017). Biomathics Consoritum. Falls, Cognitive Performance and Gait Performance: Results from the GOOD initiative. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 18(4), 335-340

Doi, T., Blumen, H. M., Verghese, J., Shimada, H., Makizako, H., Tsutsumimoto, K., ... & Suzuki, T. (2016). Gray matter volume and dual-task gait performance in mild cognitive impairment. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 1-12.

Mergeche, J.L, Verghese, J., Allali, G., Wang, C., Beauchet, O Kumar, P., Mathuranath, P.S., Yuan, J., & Blumen, H.M. (2016).White Matter Hyperintensities in Older Adults and Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome. Journal of Neuroimaging in Psychiatry and Neurology, 2 (1). 

Beauchet, O., Annweiler, C., Callisaya, M.L., De Cock, A.M., Helbostad, J.L., Kressig, R.W., Srikanth, V., Steinmetz, J.P., Blumen, H.M., Verghese, J. and Allali, G., 2016. Poor gait performance and prediction of dementia: results from a meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.482-490.

Pillemer, S., Holtzer, R., & Blumen, H. M. (2016). Functional connectivity associated with social networks in older adults: A resting-state fMRI study.Social neuroscience, 1-11.

Wang, N., Allali, G., Kesavadas, C., Noone, M. L., Pradeep, V. G., Blumen, H. M., & Verghese, J. (2016). Cerebral Small Vessel Disease and Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome: Results from the Kerala-Einstein Study. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease50(3), 699-707.

Beauchet, O., Blumen, H. M., Callisaya, M. L., De Cock, A. M., Kressig, R. W., Srikanth, V., ... & Allali, G. (2016). Times are changing; researchers need to change too. European journal of neurology23(3), e10-e10.

Allali, G., Annweiler, C., Blumen, H. M., Callisaya, M. L., De Cock, A. M., Kressig, R. W., ... & Beauchet, O. (2016). Gait phenotype from mild cognitive impairment to moderate dementia: results from the GOOD initiative. European journal of neurology23(3), 527-541.

Tagoe, C.E., Blumen H.M., Ahmad, J. (2015). Association of Anti-thyroid Peroxidase Antibody with Fibromyalgia in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatology International, 35(8), 1415-21, doi: 10.1007/s00296-015-3278-1, PubMed PMID: 25976307.

Yuan, J., Blumen, H.M., Verghese, J., & Holtzer, R. (2014). Functional Connectivity of Gait Velocity during Walking and Walking-While-Talking in Aging: A resting-state fMRI study. Human Brain Mapping, 36(4), 1484-1493. DOI: 10.1002/hbm.22717. PubMed PMID: 25504964. 

Blumen, H.M., Young, K.E., & Rajaram, S. (2014). Optimizing Group Collaboration to Improve Later Individual Retention. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 3, 240-251, doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2014.05.002

Holtzer, R., Epstein, N., Mahoney, J.R., & Blumen, H.M. (2014). Neuroimaging of Mobility in Aging: A Targeted Review. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 69(11), 1375-1388. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glu052. PubMed PMID: 24739495; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4204614.

Blumen, H.M. Holtzer, R., Brown, L.L, Gazes, Y & Verghese, J. (2014). Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Imagined Walking and Walking-While-Talking in the Elderly. Human Brain Mapping, 35(8), 4090-104. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22461. PubMed PMID: 24522972; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4106989*

* Was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Junior Research Manuscript Award at the American Geriatrics Society’s Annual meeting in National Harbor, MD, May 2015.  

Choi, H.Y., Blumen, H.M., Congleton, A., & Rajaram, S. (2013). The Role of Group Configuration on the Social Transmission of Memory: Evidence from Identical and Reconfigured Groups. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 26(1):65-80. doi: 10.1080/20445911.2013.862536.**

** Was awarded the Journal of Cognitive Psychology’s Best Paper Award 2014 http://explore.tandfonline.com/page/beh/behavioral-science-and-health-and-social-care-competitions/pecp-bpa14

Sunderaraman, P. Blumen, H.M., De Matteo, D., Apa, Z.L, & Cosentino, S. (2013). Task demand influence relationships among sex, clustering, strategy and recall: 16-word versus 9-word list learning tests, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, 26 (2), 78-84. doi: 10.1097/WNN.0b013e31829de450.

Blumen, H.M., Rajaram, S & Henkel, L (2013b).The Applied Value of Collaborative Memory Research in Aging: Considerations for Broadening the Scope, Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 2 (2), 133-135. doi: 10.1016/j.jarmac.2013.05.004

Blumen, H.M., Rajaram, S & Henkel, L (2013a).The Applied Value of Collaborative Memory Research in Aging: Behavioral and Neural Considerations, Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition 2 (2), 107-117. doi: 10.1016/j.jarmac.2013.03.003

Stern, Y., Blumen, H.M., Rich, L.W., Richards, A., Herzberg, G., & Gopher, D. (2011). Space Fortress Game Training and Executive Control in Older Adults: A Pilot Intervention. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, iFirst, 1–25. doi:10.1080/13825585.2011.613450

Blumen, H.M., Gazes, Y., Habeck, C., Kumar, A., Steffener, J., Rakitin, B.C., & Stern, Y. (2011). Neural Networks Associated with the Speed-Accuracy Tradeoff: Evidence from the Response Signal Method. Behavioural Brain Research, 224(2), 397-402. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2011.06.004

Blumen, H.M., & Stern, Y. (2011). Short-term and Long-Term Collaboration Benefits on Individual Recall in Younger and Older Adults. Memory & Cognition. 38(1), 147-154.doi: 10.3758/s13421-010-0023-6. PMCID: PMC3071579

Blumen, H.M., Gopher, D., Steinerman, J., & Stern, Y. (2010). Training Cognitive Control in Older Adults with the Space Fortress Game: The Role of Aiming and Training Instructions. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2(145), 1-12. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2010.00145. PMCID: PMC2991174

Blumen, H.M., & Rajaram, S. (2009). Effects of Repeated Collaborative Retrieval on Individual Memory Vary as a Function of Recall versus Recognition Tasks. Memory, 17(8), 840-846. doi: 10.1080/09658210903266931

Blumen, H.M., & Rajaram, S. (2008). Influence of Re-exposure and Retrieval Disruption during Group Collaboration on later Individual Recall, Memory, 16(3), 231-244. doi: 10.1080/09658210701804495


More Information About Dr. Helena Blumen

Can dancing prevent dementia?

Dr. Helena Blumen Receives NIH Career Development Award

Material in this section is provided by individual faculty members who are solely responsible for its accuracy and content.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1225 Morris Park Avenue
Van Etten, Room 313B
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.3810

Research Information

In the News

Can Dancing Prevent Dementia?

Helena Blumen, Ph.D., describes her NIH-funded research on social dancing’s effects on the brain and its role as a potential intervention to reduce dementia risk. Dr. Blumen is assistant professor of medicine and in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology.

More media coverage