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Ralph                          Benedict

Ralph H. Benedict PhD

Department of Neurology


Specialty/Research Focus

Alzheimer Disease / Memory Disorders; Forensic Psychiatry; Geriatric Psychiatry; Multiple Sclerosis; Neurodegenerative disorders; Neurology; Neuropsychology; Psychiatry

Professional Summary:

I direct two UBMD clinics: an outpatient neuropsychology practice at the Buffalo General Medical Center and an inpatient consultation service at the Erie County Medical Center. In addition, I provide services for patients at the Jacobs Multiple Sclerosis Center and the UB Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center. Our clinical mission is to provide compassionate, state-of-the-art care for patients and families affected by a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Our top-rate neuropsychological services are based on the integration of neurological, psychiatric and imaging findings and structured to meet the needs of our patients and their caregivers.

Our neuropsychology service is dedicated to the teaching mission of UB. We support the departments of neurology and psychiatry as well as the rehabilitation services in the orthopaedic, occupational therapy and physical therapy divisions at our UB-affiliated hospitals. Students, residents and fellows have a rich learning experience with us and see a wide range of diseases such as personality disorder, malingering, depression, head trauma, concussion, multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, dementia, epilepsy and pervasive developmental disorders. Medical students have the opportunity to work with both children and adults during didactics, and they may choose to focus on the evaluation of either patient population based on their clinical focus.

My research mission is to employ behavioral psychometrics to understand how cerebral disease affects personality, cognition, and psychiatric stability. Two memory tests I developed, the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test Revised (BVMTR) and the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test Revised (HVLTR), are widely used in neuropsychology, especially in the areas of multiple sclerosis, head injury, and schizophrenia, and they are included in consensus panel test batteries for athlete concussions in the NHL and NFL. I work to develop new tests in order to understand more about the effect of cerebral injuries and disease.

I also focus my research in multiple sclerosis (MS) and have conducted several studies on pharmacological treatments for cognitive function in MS patients. I have contributed in noteworthy studies as the lead author on a consensus battery for MS patients (the Minimal Assessment of Cognitive Function in MS), which is a gold standard in the literature, and as a major contributor to the idea that brain atrophy is the primary driver of cognitive impairment in MS, and in particular, deep gray matter atrophy. My major findings also include that personality changes can be assessed in MS patients, are more common in MS dementia, and relate to clinical outcomes, that self-report is not a valid indicator of neuropsychological status in MS, and that Symbol Digit Modalities Test is a reliable and valid marker for cognitive outcomes in clinical trials.

Education and Training:
  • Fellowship, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (1992)
  • PhD, Psychology, Arizona State University (1990)
  • BS, Ohio State University (1983)
  • Professor, Neurology, University at Buffalo (1999-present)

Research Expertise:
  • Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • June 2017–June 2020
    The effects of working memory training on brain function, structure, and cognition in MS
    National Multiple Sclerosis Society
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • August 2013–July 2018
    The effect of aerobic exercise on cognition in multiple sclerosis
    National Multiple Sclerosis Society
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • October 2014–September 2017
    Fall risk and incidence reduction in multiple sclerosis
    National Multiple Sclerosis Society
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • August 2013–July 2016
    Effects of adenocorticotropic hormone (Acthar gel®) on recovery from cognitive relapses in MS
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • March 2013–February 2016
    Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cell Delivery for Restoration of Function in Multiple Sclerosis
    New York State Health Department
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • September 2014–August 2015
    Does working memory training improve brain function and cognition in MS?
    National Multiple Sclerosis Society
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • June 2005–December 2007
    Predicting neuropsychological defects in MS with regional MTR using a semi-automated extraction technique
    National Multiple Sclerosis Society
    Role: Principal Investigator

Journal Articles:
See all (89 more)
Evaluative Studies and Case Reports:

School News:
In the Media:

Clinical Specialties:
Clinical Offices:
Insurance Accepted:

Contact Information

Dept. of Neurology
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
1001 Main St., 4th floor
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: (716) 323-0556
Fax: (716) 323-0595

Patient Care

Looking for a doctor? This faculty member is affiliated with UBMD, the group comprised of practicing physicians who are also professors in the UB Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

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