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Adam Spira, PhD, MA, studies how healthy sleep can protect against poor outcomes in later life, including cognitive and functional decline, and Alzheimer's disease pathology.

Contact Info

624 N. Broadway, Hampton House 819

Research Interests

Aging; Sleep disturbances; Alzheimer's disease; Cognitive decline; Functional decline; Anxiety; Depression
Experiences & Accomplishments
West Virginia University
West Virginia University
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Adam Spira is Professor and Vice Chair for Research and Faculty in the Department of Mental Health. His research is focused on: 1) disturbed sleep as a risk factor for poor health outcomes in older adults, including cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers, and functional decline; and 2) psychopathology and its links with both sleep and cognition in older people.
Honors & Awards
Advising, Mentoring, and Teaching Recognition Award (AMTRA), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Student Assembly, May 2018

Fellow, Gerontological Society of America, Behavioral and Social Sciences Section, May 2015

Insomnia Section Investigator Award, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, June 2013

Advising, Mentoring, and Teaching Recognition Award (AMTRA), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Student Assembly, May 2013

Barry Lebowitz Early Career Scientist Award, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, March 2013

International Junior Investigator Award, International College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology, June 2009

JHSPH Faculty Innovation Fund Award, 2009-2010

Licensed psychologist in Maryland (# 04619, expires 03/31/2023)

Admitted to National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program, July 2007

Completed National Institute of Mental Health Summer Research Institute in Geriatric Psychiatry, July 2005

Higher Education Research Fund Fellowship, West Virginia University, 2002, 1999

Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, State University of New York at Stony Brook, June 1998
Select Publications
Recent publications:
  • Owusu, J. T., Tzuang, M., An, Y., Kitner-Triolo, M., Zipunnikov, V., Wu, M. N., Wanigatunga, S. K., Schrack, J. A., Thorpe, R. J., Simonsick, E. M., Ferrucci, L., Resnick, S. M., & Spira, A. P. (2022). Associations between objectively measured sleep and cognition: Main effects and interactions with race in adults aged >=50 years. Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Online ahead of print: September 9.
  • Alfini, A. J., Albert, M., Faria, A. V., Soldan, A., Pettigrew, C., Wanigatunga, S. K., Zipunnikov, V., & Spira, A. P. (2021). Associations of actigraphic sleep and circadian rest/activity rhythms with cognition in the early phase of Alzheimer’s disease. SLEEP Advances, 2(1), zpab007. eCollection 2021.
  • Short, N. A., Austin, A. E., Wolfson, A., Rojo-Wissar, D. M., Munro, C. A., Eaton, W. W., Bienvenu, O. J., & Spira, A. P. (2022). The association between traumatic life events and sleep disturbance among men and women: Results from the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area follow-up study. Sleep Health, 8(2), 249-254.
  • Gallo, J. J., Hwang, S., Truong, C., Reynolds, C. F., & Spira, A. P. (2020). Role of persistent and worsening sleep disturbance in depression remission and suicidal ideation among older primary care patients: The PROSPECT Study. SLEEP, 43(10), zsaa063.
  • Spira, A. P., An, Y., Wu, M. N., Owusu, J. T., Simonsick, E. M., Bilgel, M., Ferrucci, L., Wong, D. F., & Resnick, S. M. (2018). Excessive daytime sleepiness and napping in cognitively normal adults: Associations with subsequent amyloid deposition measured by PiB PET. SLEEP, 41(10).
Poor Sleep Altered Circadian Rhythms and Alzheimers Disease (R01AG050507; PI: Spira)
Stress, Mental Disorders, Accelerated Aging, and Dementia: a 35-year Cohort Study (U01AG052445; MPIs: A. P. Spira & W. W. Eaton)
The ARIC Study of Midlife Sleep and Late-Life Brain Amyloid (RF1AG050745; MPIs: A. P. Spira & R. F. Gottesman)
Actigraphic Assessment of Sleep Quality in the A4 Trial (R01AG049872; MPIs: P. B. Rosenberg & A. P. Spira)
Waking up to Climate Change: Cool Roofs, Sleep, and Health in Baltimore City
Energy Expenditure, Physical Activity, and Alzheimer's Disease in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging