James M. Ellison

James M. Ellison headshot

James M. Ellison, MD, MPH

Adjunct Professor

Office Location:
Swank Memory Care Center
501 West 14th Street
Gateway Building, 5th Floor
Wilmington, Delaware 19801

Research Interests

My research focused first on aspects of emergency room psychiatry (diagnostic issues and the care of recidivists). Subsequently I explored risk management aspects of care (guidelines for care of suicidal patients; collaborative, consultative, and supervisory relationships) and issues in pharmacotherapy, especially of mood and anxiety disorders, with special interests in treatment resistance and in the interface areas between psychopharmacology and psychotherapy (such as the adjunctive role of medications in psychotherapy, new uses of psychopharmacologic agents, integration of treatment approaches, and issues in the training of physicians and non-physicians involved in the care of psychiatric patients). During the past decade, I have focused on areas in geriatric psychiatry, primarily related to depression in later life, dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Alzheimer’s Disease therapeutics. Clinically, I have contributed to the understanding of medication side effects including bradycardia/hypotension, bruxism, sexual dysfunction and discontinuation symptoms that accompany antidepressant treatment. As a geriatric psychiatrist, I have broadened public and professional awareness concerning mood symptoms in the cognitive intact and cognitively impaired geriatric populations. I speak to public interest groups and have lobbied for legislative reforms in the care of the elderly. I am an active teacher and supervisor of psychiatric residents, practicing psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurse clinical specialists. I have edited and/or contributed to books on collaborative treatment, pharmacotherapy, emergency psychiatry, anxiety disorders, neuropsychiatry, managed care and suicide, sexual dysfunction, and mood disorders. My most recent edited book, Mood Disorders in Later Life, was published in 2008.

Honors, Awards, Professional Offices Held

  • 2006 CINP-Lundbeck Neuroscience Foundation Prize for Education in Psychiatry and Neurology (to Curriculum Committee of ASCP for Model Psychopharmacology Curriculum Project)
  • 2009-2015 Included in Boston Magazine’s “Top Doctor” listings
  • 2010 American Association of Geriatric Society: Educator of the Year
  • 2012 The Jonathan O. Cole Award (McLean Hospital)
  • 2014 Massachusetts Psychiatric Society: Outstanding Psychiatrist Award for Advancement of the Profession
  • 2015 Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association

Berlow YA, Wells WM, Ellison JM, et al: Neuropsychiatric correlates of white matter hyperintensities in Alzheimer’s disease. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010;25(8):780-8.
2 . Ujkaj M, Davidoff DA, Seiner SJ, Ellison JM, Harper DG, Forester BP. Safety and efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy for the treatment of agitation and aggression in patients with dementia. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2012;20(1):61-72.
3 . Woodward MR, Harper DG, Stolyar A, Forester BP, Ellison JM. Dronabinol for the Treatment of Agitation and Aggressive Behavior in Acutely Hospitalized Severely Demented Patients with Noncognitive Behavioral Symptoms. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2014;22(4):415-9.
4.  Jackson ML, Bex PJ, Ellison JM et al. Feasibility of a web-based survey of hallucinations and assessment of visual function in patients With Parkinson’s Disease. 2014 Jan 6;3(1):e1. doi: 10.2196/ijmr.2744.
5.  Levy B, Celen-Demirtas S, Surguladze T, Eranio S, Ellison J. Neuropsychological screening as a standard of care during discharge from psychiatric hospitalization: the preliminary psychometrics of the CNS Screen. Psychiatry Res. 2014;215(3):790-6.
6. Weusten LH, Heijnen-Kohl SM, Ellison J, van Alphen SP. Interference of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in an older adult with a severe personality disorder and dermatillomania. Int Psychogeriatric.  2014 Feb; 26 (2):341-3.
7. Glick ID, Ellison JM. Improving the practice of clinical psychopharmacotherapy: the process of longterm management for patients and caregivers. J Clin Psychiatry 2015;76(6):735-6.
8.  Rosowsky E, Young AS, Mallow MC, van Alphen SP, Ellison JM. A cross-validation to Delphi method approach to the diagnosis and treatment of personality disorders in older adults. Aging & Mental Health 2016 dx.doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2016.1261796
9.  Ellison JM. The stage-dependent significance of SMC’s: Responding to the worried well…and to the unworried unwell. In Press, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.