House Calls

SPR 2018

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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40 { spring 2018 } h o u s e c a l l s picture of health long career. While completing his residency at The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, a school assignment sent the Buenos Aires, Argentina, native—who earned his medical degree at the University of Buenos Aires—headfirst into Alzheimer's research, which was then in its infancy. His work in the burgeoning field caught the attention of staffers at the University of California, Los Angeles, who recruited him for a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry. He's been an expert in clinical Alzheimer's research ever since. "While we devote many of our resources to improving the lives of our youth, I believe we should devote no less to those that gave us their knowledge and wisdom and now need our support," says Dr. Mintzer. When his wife, Olga—a neuroscience researcher—landed a fellowship in Charleston in 1991, the couple moved to the Lowcountry. "I didn't know what Charleston was; I thought it was a dance!" he quips. "Someone told me then that nobody leaves Charleston willingly, and we've been here ever since." He's been heading up all things research at Roper St. Francis since 2014, overseeing groundbreaking projects like developing new biological treatments for ALS and innovative therapies for patients with Alzheimer's. "I'm proud that Roper St. Francis Healthcare offers treatment options that are among the most cutting edge in the world for patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease and in other areas, such as oncology, cardiology, depression, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)," he says. Over the course of a demanding career and raising two children—Adam, 23, a journalist, and Jonathan, 28, a political attorney— Dr. Mintzer has continued to make health and nutrition a focus by putting it as a top priority. For him, squeezing in a sweat session before the sun comes up ensures his opportunity to exercise won't slip away. "It's a matter of priorities," he says, adding with a laugh, "If someone were to tell you that, to be healthy, you needed to devote time each day to eat chocolate cake, I think you would find the time." As a mental health expert, Dr. Mintzer knows there's more to well-being than physical fitness—so there's a heavy social aspect to his wellness regime. "I strongly believe in the benefits of community engagement," he says. "It's so important to give support and be supported by other people." Toward that end, the physician stays active in his synagogue and also spends his spare time working to develop a theory around the connection between music and brain activity. This passion project was born in 2015 when Dr. Mintzer attended a performance by Norbert Lewandowski, principal cellist in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. The experience got him wondering what was happening in Lewandowski's brain as he played, so he teamed up with folks at University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, and other institutions to find out. "We actually recorded it by taking pictures of his brain while he plays the cello," Dr. Mintzer says. Lewandowski gave a follow- up concert as images of his brain activity played in the background. More recently, he and Lewandowski teamed up with world famous soprano Renée Fleming to give a presentation on Music and the Mind at the Charleston Gaillard Center. The experience left him feeling creatively satisfied and civically engaged. Plus, he says simply, "it was cool!" When Dr. Mintzer follows his own program of nutrition, exercise, and community engagement, he feels good. And for this logical guy, that's reason enough to stick with the experiment. FAMILY MAN: (from left) Dr. Mintzer with wife, Olga, and sons, Adam (left) and Jonathan, at Denali National Park & Preserve. Dr. Mintzer and sons at Adam's 2016 graduation from Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University; and Dr. Mintzer and Adam after the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon in Washington, D.C. P H O T O G R A P H S ( 3 , F A M I L Y ) C O U R T E S Y O F D R . M I N T Z E R } } "I strongly believe in the benefits of community engagement. It's so important to give support and be supported by other people." —Dr. Jacobo Mintzer

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