A Conversation with Dr. Douglas Lewis

Douglas Lewis, D.O.

 Dr. Lewis has joined the Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic staff recently, adding experience to the group in the field of Neurology as well as his warm and comfortable personality. We sat down with him to talk about the move.

Here’s what he said:

Where did you practice before coming to ADC?

I was in private practice just up the street on 9th. It was a successful solo practice. I had a lot of wonderful patients. And now, I’m happy to continue their care at ADC.

Dynamics are different coming from a clinic. How has that been?

Dynamics are different. One of the reasons I decided to join the group was the other physicians along with the quality of care at this facility. It is a great group for sure.

We love Dr. Milligan. Because you are both Neurologists, are you looking forward to working with him? One thing about Dr. Milligan is his dry sense of humor…

Yes. He’s dryer than I am, I suspect. He’s great. A good guy.

How many years were you in private practice?

I was in private practice for eight years.

Where are you from?

I’m from Colorado Springs and attended high school there.

Where did you receive medical training?

I went to medical school at Des Moines University in Iowa. I did an internship in New Jersey and then my Neurology internship in Detroit where I also did a fellowship in Neuro-Physiology.  Once I finished my medical education, I came here and worked with a large physician group for about six years. After that, I went into private practice where I remained for the next eight years.  I’ve been in practice for about 14 years.  The years go by fast.

Do you visit Colorado often?

Yes, I do. I’m actually going in the near future. My high school buddies and I still get together every year and go camping for a weekend.

Where do you like to go?

We go all over. This year we’re going up near Steamboat, a long trip for me. But, it fits in okay.

Do you have family?

Yes. My wife is from the Amarillo region. I have two sons at home and a daughter who is currently attending Optometry School.

What are some hobbies you enjoy other than camping?

We like to ski, snowmobile, and other Winter activities.  We also enjoy water skiing in the Summer.

If you were opening up a keynote in front of millions of people, what’s something interesting you’d say?

Now, that would be hard. I am opening up a keynote this weekend at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I am a diabetic and have been on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation board for the last couple years. I am opening up the walk this weekend.  I don’t know what I will say but I am sure it will come to me before then.

Being a doctor, you are the source of information everyday, it’s a totally different mindset. What’s that like?

Sure. It’s been about everything I expected it to be. I like it.

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Smells like nostalgia: Why do scents bring back memories?

By Meghan Holohan

NBCNews.com

The smell of chlorine wafts through the air. Suddenly, you recall childhood summers spent in a swimming pool. Or maybe it’s a whiff of apple pie, or the scent of the same perfume your mom used to wear. Our noses have a way of sniffing out nostalgia.

“I stepped into an elevator and a bunch of people piled in behind me. I was behind a woman with her back to me, her hair was in my nose, and I could smell the perfume, Shalimar, and I hadn’t smelled it in [years]. It seemed like I was transported back to high school,” says Howard Eichenbaum, director of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neurobiology at Boston University.

While all the senses are connected with memories, smell in particular sparks a flurry of emotional memories. Why?

After a smell enters the nose, it travels through the cranial nerve through the olfactory bulb, which helps the brain process smells. The olfactory bulb is part of the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain. As a member of the limbic system, the olfactory bulb can easily access the amygdala, which plays a role in emotional memories (it’s also where the “fight or flight” reflex comes from).

“Olfactory has a strong input into the amygdala, which process emotions. The kind of memories that it evokes are good and they are more powerful,” explains Eichenbaum.

This close relationship between the olfactory and the amygdala is one of the reason odors cause a spark of nostalgia.

“We don’t use emotional memory that much,” says Dr. Ron DeVere, director of the Taste and Smell Disorders Clinic and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center, in Austin, Texas, and member of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). He adds that when people consciously attempt to remember something they focus on the details, not feelings.

“You have an odor, you may not identify the odor, but you are associating that with some memories. The first time you smelled apple pie you may have been at your grandmother’s house,” DeVere says.

Also at play is a relationship between the olfactory system and the hippocampus, which is critical to developing memories. Even though the olfactory system interacts with the emotion and memory centers in the brain, it does not connect with more developed regions.

“Smells do bring back memories,” says Dr. Ken Heilman, James E. Rooks Jr. Distinguished Professor Neurology and Health Psychology at the University of Florida and a member of AAN.

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