Dr. Lealani Mae (Leah) Acosta is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and a board-certified neurologist specializing in neurodegenerative memory disorders. She attended The George Washington University, graduating summa cum laude in psychology. She completed graduate studies in psychology, philosophy, and physiology at Oxford University in Oxford, UK. On returning to the United States, she finished both her medical education and residency training in Neurology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. She completed fellowship in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, under the mentorship of Dr. Kenneth Heilman, focusing on creativity. Her interest in this topic stems in part from her own hobbies of poetry, drawing, and calligraphy. Her range of publications reflects these varied interests, including peer-reviewed research articles and poetry. Dr. Acosta joined the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine faculty in 2013. She is currently completing graduate studies in public health at Vanderbilt and her research is focusing on error frequency and quality in a task of semantic fluency in patients with mild cognitive impairment.
At the Vanderbilt Memory & Alzheimer’s Center, Dr. Acosta serves as the study physician for the Memory & Aging Project and for the NOBLE Study of T-817, a clinical trial for a new Alzheimer's drug. As the study physician, she performs clinical evaluations and lumbar punctures for cerebrospinal fluid acquisition, and she reviews laboratory findings.