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Brenda Pérez Cerpa, MD

Atlantic Fellow at GBHI
UCSF Memory and Aging Center

brenda.perez@gbhi.org

Home Country: Mexico
Field of Employment: Geriatric Medicine and Internal Medicine
Key Areas: Aging, neurocognitive disorders, palliative care in advanced dementia

In the gap between fully-effective prevention strategies and a curative treatment for people living with dementia, being able to offer support and tools to cope with this condition in its final stages is of utmost importance.

Brenda Pérez Cerpa is a geriatric medicine specialist joining GBHI from Mexico. As a physician closely involved in providing healthcare to older adults, she is highly aware of the growing healthcare challenge that dementia represents. In order to provide the best care possible to older adults who will develop and live with dementia, it is important that the diagnosis, treatment and support offered to these patients, their families, and their caregivers, can be delivered as soon as possible. Pérez Cerpa believes that clinicians should ideally be involved since the initial stages of dementia and accompanying during this process until the advanced or final stage of this condition.

Based on her previous experience in her country, Pérez Cerpa has noticed that an area usually not very touched upon or under-looked is the full and comprehensive care of advanced-stage dementia patients. She believes that supportive and palliative care should be considered as a fundamental part of the services and care offered to a patient living with dementia.

Facing the current absence of a curative treatment for cognitive impairment, Pérez Cerpa understands that, until some new breakthrough development is achieved, patients living with dementia unfortunately will progress to an advanced stage, and supportive care will be fundamental, not only towards the patient’s benefit, but also to help reduce burdens and offer relief to their family and caregivers.

Upon joining the GBHI program, Pérez Cerpa will work to stablish innovative ways of bringing palliative and supportive care to people with dementia. She wishes to develop tangible policies or strategies that raise awareness of advanced directives. Achieving this could empower the patient and family to make the best evidence-based medical decisions at an early stage of dementia so that their wishes can be held throughout the course of the disease.

Bio: Brenda Pérez Cerpa received her medical degree from Universidad de Guadalajara in 2010. Following that, she completed a four-year Internal Medicine residency program at Hospital Civil de Guadalajara. Pérez Cerpa then traveled to Mexico City to pursue clinical training in Geriatrics at Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición, were she completed a two-year fellowship program. During her training in this National Institute, she assessed, diagnosed and treated numerous patients in the Geriatrics department’s memory clinic. There, Pérez Cerpa had the opportunity to conduct a research project regarding the correlates between renal function and cognitive performance in older adults.