Dr. Patricia Heyn

Founding Director,
Marymount University

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Marymount University
Arlington, VA

Dr. Patricia Heyn

Founding Director,
Marymount University


Patricia C. Heyn, PhD, FGSA, FACRM is the founding director of the Center for Optimal Aging and a professor of health sciences at the Marymount University.  She also has an appointment as an Associate Clinical Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus where she has been affiliated since 2004.  She has a PhD in Applied Exercise Physiology/Gerontology followed by two Post-Doctoral Fellowships. Her investigations include the associations between lifestyle behavior, functional outcomes, sex hormone, metabolic syndrome, and interactive technology on cognitive function.  She studied the associations between mild cognitive impairment (MCI), ethnicity, age, education, physical activity levels, and metabolic syndrome as well as clinical trials for hypogonadal older men and older individuals with metabolic syndrome and MCI. She has important, relevant research expertise in activity-induced brain function and lifestyle behavior medicine. Dr. Heyn also studied the effects of multi-sensory therapy and virtual-reality intervention on cognitive and physiological function. Her current research interests include investigating the effects of behavioral interventions on cognitive function and metabolic syndrome on individuals aging with complex disabilities. She is constantly designing treatments for individuals with physical and/or cognitive disabilities. She has distinctive knowledge on how to synthesize and evaluate the quality of the evidence from the literature. Her meta-analysis on the effects of exercise training for individuals with dementia is highly cited. She has been involved in several international academic programs and scientific projects. Her research was featured in one of Argentina's leading newspapers, La Nación, after she delivered a keynote lecture at the 6th Neuropsychological Argentinean Congress. The National Alzheimer's Association features Dr. Heyn's research on the effects of exercise on dementia on its Maintain Your Brain ™ - the Science Behind the Recommendations website. Her research is also frequently cited in various media such as View of Washington, ABC 7 News, and other related media and scientific news reports.​

Areas Of Expertise

  • Ageism
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Anti-Aging
  • Assessment: Cognitive Assessment
  • Assessment: Functional Assessment
  • Behavior
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems
  • Caregiving
  • Centenarians


  • Gerontology