Good health is the key to living life to capacity, but disease can rob someone of their most precious gift: mental acuity. This is the ability to focus, concentrate and retain as well as recall short and long-term memories.

(Photo courtesy of Sarah J. Banks, Ph.D)

(Photo courtesy of Sarah J. Banks, Ph.D)

Sarah J. Banks, Ph.D, is the head of the neuropsychology program at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. She is also Assistant Professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. The Center for Brain Health provides health care for individuals struggling with a memory or movement disorder. Along with administration, Dr. Banks works with patients in diagnosis, reviewing cognitive profiles and determining the correct treatment plan.

Dr. Banks also does conducts research in the study of head injuries, dementia, other illnesses of the brain and how a healthy brain functions. She is currently involved in a brain health study looking at boxers and mixed martial artists and how repetitive head injuries affect their cognition and how their brain scans compare to other people.

Dr. Banks earned her Ph.D in clinical psychology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Chicago and her postdoctoral fellowship at the Montreal Neurological Institute.

“I have always had a real fascination with the brain along with medicine and science,” Dr. Banks explained. “I wanted to explore human behavior and why our gray matter makes us behave the way we do.

“There is so much you can do with a psychology or social science degree,” she said. “There are many areas of specialization. One of the things I love about my job is the many options I have. There are many positions for people in this field with an incredible amount of variety.”

Dr. Banks did advise that, “There is uncertainty with the Affordable Health Care Act, but there are also many opportunities created. Psychologists and neuropsychologist can work in primary care physician offices completing assessments. There is forensic work, especially in insurance companies and the criminal education system. I see the field is changing but not diminishing.”

Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (34 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on


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