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Gordon J. Chelune, Ph.D., ABPP(CN)

Professor of Neurology
Senior Neuropsychologist, Center for Alzheimer's Care, Imaging and Research
Member, The Brain Institute at the University of Utah
Member, The University of Utah Center on Aging


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Dr. Gordon J. Chelune

A Pioneer in Cognitive Testing

Dr. Chelune has dedicated his career to developing more accurate methods for cognitive testing, including detection of subtle cognitive difficulties associated with neurological illness. He has pioneered methods of assessing cognitive changes in patients following surgery, anesthesia and drug interventions. "Such tests can tell us whether the treatment really helped, or whether the patient's improved test performance simply reflects natural recovery or practice effects."

In recent years, Dr. Chelune's research has focused on methods to discern changes caused by Alzheimer's and similar diseases from changes that occur with normal aging. He is particularly interested in individual differences in disease progression and cognitive reserve.

"To be sure, there are important genetic, biological and environmental factors that account for differences in cognitive reserve," Dr. Chelune says. "Identifying and measuring these differences will help us to better counsel patients and their families and, ultimately, to find new ways to slow or even stop disease progression."

Academic History

Dr. Chelune joined the University of Utah in 2006 as Professor in the Department of Neurology, where he is also the Senior Neuropsychologist for the Center for Alzheimer's Care, Imaging and Research (CACIR). He also is an active member of the University's Brain Institute, Center on Aging, and Department of Psychology. Dr. Chelune is a Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, American Psychological Association in the Division of Clinical Neuropsychology, and the Society for Personality Assessment. He has served as President of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and the Division of Clinical Neuropsychology of the American Psychological Association, and is currently the Treasurer of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Dr. Chelune earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nevada at Reno, and subsequently completed his neuropsychology fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Before arriving in Utah, Dr. Chelune was a member of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, where he was Director of Neuropsychological Services at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research, and founder of the Section of Neuropsychology.

Research Interests

Dr. Chelune's research spans several areas but has focused primarily on longitudinal assessment and methods of measuring reliable change in outcomes research and cognitive aging, cognitive assessment methods, and memory disorders. He is currently developing methods for assessing trajectories of cognitive change over time as a potential biomarker of neurologic integrity for the early detection of dementia.

Click here to view Dr. Chelune's NIH Biosketch.

Selected Publications

  • Chelune GJ. (2009) Evidence-Based Research and Practice in Clinical Neuropsychology (view). The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 25, 1-14.
  • Chelune GJ. (2009) "Cognitive Changes in the Older Adult: Normal to Abnormal Changes." Topics in Neuropsychology, presented by the Utah Psychological Association on March 27, 2009. View handout.
  • Levy JA, Chelune GJ. (2007). Cognitive-behavioral profiles of neurodegenerative dementias: beyond Alzheimer's disease (view). Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 20(4), 227-238.
  • Loring DW, Strauss E, Hermann BP, et al. (2008). Differential neuropsychological test sensitivity to left temporal lobe epilepsy (view). Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 14(3), 394-400.
  • Attix DK, Story TJ, Chelune GJ, et al. (2008). The prediction of Change: Normative neuropsychological trajectories (view). The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 23(1), 21-38.
  • View a more complete listing of Dr. Chelune's publications here.

This Page Last Updated: Jun 11, 2009