Arvanitakis is a professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center. She received her doctorate in medicine from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. During her neurology residency, she did a six-month rotation in behavioral neurology at the Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France. She then specialized in dementia by training as a behavioral neurology fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Arvanitakis later received a master of science in clinical research with subspecialization in epidemiology from the Graduate College of Rush University.
Arvanitakis is a cognitive neurologist with a particular interest in dementia caused by different types of brain degeneration (such as Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body disease and frontotemporal dementia) and by vascular disease (stroke). She is a clinician-scientist who performs clinical work, teaches and conducts research on neurological aspects of aging. Arvanitakis is the medical director of the Rush Memory Clinic. She sees patients with memory and other cognitive or behavioral problems for diagnosis and treatment. Arvanitakis teaches medical students and residents, a range of health care trainees and others. She is director of the Rush Neurology Residency Research Program, overseeing research training for future neurologists. Arvanitakis has been recognized as an outstanding educator, receiving the Excellence in Mentoring Award from the Provost’s Office and Office of Academic Affairs, Rush University.
In addition to clinical and teaching responsibilities, Arvanitakis conducts original research. She is principal investigator of federal grants funded by the National Institutes of Health and clinical trials funded by federal and private entities. Arvanitakis works closely with collaborators to advance medical knowledge in the field of cognitive aging and dementia. Her particular research interest is in unraveling the mechanisms of brain degeneration and vascular disease that lead to worsening thinking abilities and dementia, with the ultimate goal of identifying better treatments and preventive strategies for these conditions. She works on longitudinal epidemiologic, clinical-pathologic studies, including the Rush Religious Orders Study and the Memory and Aging Project, which aim to improve the understanding of risk factors for cognitive and motor decline in older persons. Her work has been presented at national and international meetings and published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
Arvanitakis is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She was elected to be an active member of the American Neurological Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. She has served as an executive member of the Geriatric Neurology Section of the American Academy of Neurology and the Scientific Program Advisory Committee of the American Neurological Association. She is member of several institutional and departmental committees at Rush, and is the current chair of the Research Committee of the Rush Department of Neurological Sciences. Arvanitakis speaks English, French and Greek.