Healthcare Practitioners

Adekola O Alao, MD

Adekola O Alao, MD
Appointed 07/01/08
324 Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Building
713 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
315 464-5540

Hospital Campus

Research Programs and Affiliations

  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Education & Fellowships

  • Residency: SUNY Upstate Medical University, 1998
  • Residency: University of Oxford, England, 1996
  • MD: University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 1983

Clinical Interests

  • Consultation liaison Psychiatry, Chronic Pain and sickle cell disease

Research Interests

  • Mind-body interface, chronic pain, sickle cell disease

Specialties & Certification

  • Psychiatry
  • Administrative Psychiatry
  • Pain Management
  • Psychosomatic Medicine
  • Addiction Medicine


  • Adults


  • Psychopharmacology


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Research Abstract

Int J Psychiatry Med. 2003;33(1):97-101. Drug addiction in sickle cell disease: case report.
Alao AO, Westmoreland N, Jindal S.

There has been widespread speculation that patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) may become drug dependent if their painful crisis is treated with narcotics. However, there has been no scientific evidence to support this assertion. Paradoxically, individuals suffering from sickle cell disease who are not adequately treated may develop an addiction to narcotics due to self-medication to treat their pain. In this article, we describe a 38-year-old African American woman who became addicted to cocaine due to self-medication of her sickle cell pain with cocaine.

West Afr J Med. 2002 Apr-Jun;21(2):108-11. Chronic back pain successfully treated with supportive psychotherapy.
Alao AO, Faynberg E.

BACKGROUND: The primary purpose of this article is to report 4 cases of lower back pain successfully treated with psychoeducation. METHODS: Case studies of 4 patients with chronic back pain. Medline data search of articles relating to chronic back pain. The patients were treated on an outpatient basis for a period of up to one year. RESULT: A structured program of psychoeducation was effective in reducing pain and disability in all four cases. CONCLUSION: There is increasing evidence of the role of psychological factors In the etiology and treatment of chronic back pain. A program of psychoeducation may be effective in treating certain patients with lower back pain.

Int J Psychiatry Med. 2002;32(1):97-101. Sickle cell disease and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Alao AO, Soderberg M.

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a common condition among African Americans. It is associated with severe complications including severe pain in the chest, back, abdomen, or extremities. Individuals with SCD also have a reduced life span. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition increasingly being recognized. In this article we discuss, to our knowledge, the first case of a patient with comorbid sickle cell disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2001 Jul-Aug;9(4):169-77. Depression and sickle cell disease.
Alao AO, Cooley E.

Depressive symptoms are very common in patients with a chronic medical illness such as sickle cell disease (SCD). Clinicians may fail to recognize depression in such patients when, as in SCD, the two conditions have many overlapping symptoms. Based on a Medline database search, we review papers addressing the relationship between depression and SCD. Data regarding this relationship are conflicting. We provide recommendations for improving the treatment of patients with SCD and depression.

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