Salvatore Spina, MD, PhD


Dr. Salvatore Spina is a behavioral neurologist who cares for patients with degenerative, vascular, inflammatory and autoimmune conditions that cause problems with memory, thinking, language or personality changes. This includes Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Lewy-body disease, frontotemporal dementia and various conditions that cause aphasia, loss of the ability to speak or to understand speech. He also treats patients with movement disorders accompanied by cognitive and behavioral symptoms, including those affected by corticobasal syndrome, progressive supranuclear palsy and motor neuron disease.

Spina's research investigates the relationship between cognitive and behavioral changes in patients with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, Parkinson's disease and other diseases that destroy the cells for such voluntary movements as walking, speaking and swallowing. He specifically examines inflammation in the brain, lost neurons and synapses, and brain changes that indicate disease progression. His study tools include evaluation of neurological symptoms, results from neuropsychological testing, neuroimaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), and genetic or other kinds of biomarkers, measurable substances that can indicate disease. He is a member of the UCSF Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank, which uses donated nervous system tissue to further the understanding of neurodegenerative conditions.

Spina earned his medical degree from the University of Catania. He completed a residency in neurology at the University of Siena, where he also earned a doctoral degree studying how neurodegenerative diseases arise when nerve cells lose their structure or function. He then completed a residency in neurology at Indiana University and a fellowship in behavioral neurology at UCSF.

Spina is a member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, American Academy of Neurology and American Association of Neuropathologists. As a researcher, he has been honored by the European Confederation of Neuropathological Societies and Hellenic Society of Neuropathology.


Memory and Aging Center
1500 Owens St., Suite 320
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2057
Fax: (415) 353-8292

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

More about Salvatore Spina


University of Catania 1999
University of Siena, PhD, Neurodegeneration 2009


University of Siena, Neurology 2005
Indiana University School of Medicine, Neurology 2013


UCSF, Behavioral Neurology 2016