Clinical Focus

  • Psychosomatic Medicine

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Consultation-Liason Psychiatry (2019)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Psychiatry (2017)
  • Residency: Stanford University Adult Psychiatry Residency (2016) CA
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (2017) CA
  • Medical Education: Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine (2012) OH

All Publications

  • A Study of the Psychometric Properties of the "Stanford Proxy Test for Delirium" (S-PTD): ANew Screening Tool for the DetectionofDelirium. Psychosomatics Maldonado, J. R., Sher, Y. I., Benitez-Lopez, M. A., Savant, V., Garcia, R., Ament, A., De Guzman, E. 2019


    BACKGROUND: Delirium is a prevalent neuropsychiatric disorder associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Half the cases remain misdiagnosed.OBJECTIVE: Assess the effectiveness of the Stanford Proxy Test for Delirium (S-PTD) in detecting delirium in an inpatient setting.METHODS: This is a comparison study. Daily assessment with S-PTD, by the patient's nurse, and a neuropsychiatric assessment by a psychiatrist. Assessments were blinded. Inclusion criteria included 18 years or older. Exclusion criteria included patient's or surrogate's unwillingness to participate, inability to consent if a surrogate was not available, and inability to communicate in English or Spanish. A total of 309 patients were approached: 27 declined participation, 4 were excluded, and 278 subjects were followed up throughout their hospital stay. In the end, 78 were excluded for lack of neuropsychiatric assessment, S-PTD, or both. One was excluded for lack of demographic data. The sensitivity and specificity of the S-PTD in detecting delirium when compared with a neuropsychiatric assessment.RESULTS: Participants were on average 60.8 years old and 54.3% were male. Patients who developed delirium were, on average, older (15.12 y, confidence interval: 8.94-21.32). A total of 199 patients were analyzed; 43 patients (21.6%) met criteria for delirium. S-PTD detected 67 days with delirium (16.5%) of 405 hospital days, while neuropsychiatric evaluation identified 83 (20.5%). S-PTD had a sensitivity of 80.72% and a specificity of 90.37%.CONCLUSION: S-PTD is an effective, comprehensive, and simple screening tool for delirium, which is robust despite fluctuating symptoms and lack of cooperation. The use of S-PTD may enhance early diagnosis of delirium.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psym.2019.11.009

    View details for PubMedID 31926650

  • Neurobehavioral Management of Traumatic Brain Injury in the Critical Care Setting: An Update. Critical care clinics De Guzman, E. n., Ament, A. n. 2017; 33 (3): 423–40


    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force. TBI is a major cause of disability and mortality worldwide. Post-traumatic amnesia, or the interval from injury until the patient is oriented and able to form and later recall new memories, is an important index of TBI severity and functional outcome. This article will discuss the updates in the epidemiology, definition and classification, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of common acute neuropsychiatric sequelae of traumatic brain injury that the critical care specialist may encounter.

    View details for PubMedID 28601130

  • Valproic Acid for Treatment of Hyperactive or Mixed Delirium: Rationale and Literature Review PSYCHOSOMATICS Sher, Y., Cramer, A. C., Ament, A., Lolak, S., Maldonado, J. R. 2015; 56 (6): 615-625


    Delirium is the most often encountered psychiatric diagnosis in the general hospital, with an incidence of up to 82% in the intensive care unit setting and with significant detrimental effects on patients' morbidity and mortality. Antipsychotics are often considered the first-line pharmacological treatment of delirium, but their use may be limited by lack of efficacy, existing contraindications (e.g., prolonged QTc intervals), or resulting side effects (e.g., akathisia). Valproic acid (VPA) is a potential alternative or adjunct treatment. It has multiple mechanisms of action, including effects on neurotransmitter modulation, neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and transcription, all of which are implicated in the pathophysiology of delirium. Yet, data on the use of this agent in delirium are limited.In this article, we discuss postulated mechanisms of VPA action that provide a theoretical basis for its use in the treatment of hyperactive and mixed type delirium, based on the known and theorized pathophysiology of delirium. We also discuss potential side effects and considerations with use of VPA.VPA has multiple modulatory effects on neurotransmitter systems, inflammation, oxidative stress, and transcriptional changes implicated in pathophysiology of delirium. When carefully chosen, VPA can be an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for the management of hyperactive and mixed type delirium. Randomized controlled trials are needed to establish tolerability and efficacy of VPA for treatment of delirium.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000366315400002

    View details for PubMedID 26674479

  • Adjunctive Valproic Acid in Management-Refractory Hyperactive Delirium: A Case Series and Rationale. journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences Sher, Y., Miller, A. C., Lolak, S., Ament, A., Maldonado, J. R. 2015; 27 (4): 365-370


    Patients with delirium may fail to respond to standard therapies. Sixteen patients with management-refractory hyperactive delirium responded to adjunctive valproic acid, with complete resolution of hyperactive delirium in 13 cases. A rationale for using valproic acid in such circumstances is discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.14080190

    View details for PubMedID 25803136

  • Juvenile cobalamin deficiency in individuals of African ancestry is caused by a founder mutation in the intrinsic factor gene GIF BRITISH JOURNAL OF HAEMATOLOGY Ament, A. E., Li, Z., Sturm, A. C., Perko, J. D., Lawson, S., Masterson, M., Quadros, E. V., Tanner, S. M. 2009; 144 (4): 622-624