Dementia Matters

About the Host


Dr. Nathaniel Chin is host of Dementia Matters. He is a geriatrician, memory clinic doctor, and director of medical services for the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. His father's diagnosis with early onset Alzheimer’s disease inspired him to pursue a career as a geriatrician and scientist focused on dementia prevention, especially in regard to Alzheimer's disease.

Dementia Matters is brought to you by the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Our podcast is here to help humanize Alzheimer’s disease, by speaking with the experts in our community to keep you informed on the latest headlines, research studies, and caregiver resources. Our host is Dr. Nathaniel Chin, an assistant professor of medicine, geriatrics and gerontology, at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

You can listen to episodes through our website, or subscribe to Dementia Matters through iTunes, Spotify, Podbean, Stitcher, or Google Play Music.

Contact Us

Email your questions and episode suggestions to

Editor: Bashir Aden

Producer: Rebecca Wasieleski

Recent Episodes

The holidays are a joyous time for many, however it can be quite stressful to caregivers of a person with dementia. Geriatrician Dr. Alexis Eastman discusses the most important tips and safety precautions for dementia caregivers this holiday season.


Guest: Dr. Alexis Eastman, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

SuperAgers are people over age 80 who have the memory and thinking abilities of someone in their 50s. This week, Dr. Emily Rogalski discusses the science of SuperAging and how examining SuperAgers’ brains can help us learn about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Guest: Emily Rogalski, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Associate Director at Mesulam Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center in Chicago

This week, we have a very special episode featuring former Governor of Wisconsin, Martin Schreiber. Governor Schreiber has been a widely outspoken advocate for awareness of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. He discusses the many beautiful and difficult moments of being a caregiver for his wife, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease more than a decade ago.


Guest: Martin Schreiber, Former Governor of Wisconsin (1977-1979), Former Lt. Governor of Wisconsin (1971-1977)

Preventive cardiologist Dr. Heather Johnson joins us this week to discuss how keeping a healthy cardiovascular system can reduce chances of developing dementia. She also discusses her MyHEART study, which aims to help young adults live heart-healthy lives.

Guest: Dr. Heather Johnson, cardiologist with special interest in preventive cardiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Rarely are the steps to prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia discussed thoroughly. On this week's episode, Dr. William Shankle, a neurologist specialized in the diagnosis, treatment and management of Alzheimer’s disease, discusses how management of lifestyle and other health conditions can reduce the rate of accumulation of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain.

Guest: Dr. William Shankle, Medical Director, Shankle Clinic, Newport Beach, California.

The quest for both patient and caregiver resources in your own community can be difficult. Bonnie Nuttkinson of the Alzheimer’s Association tells us the many different free resources for dementia patients and their caregivers.

Guest: Bonnie Nuttkinson, Program and Advocacy Manager, Alzheimer's Association South Central Wisconsin Chapter

Guest: Sanjay Asthana, MD, associate dean of gerontology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and director and founder, Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
For decades, researchers from around the world have been working to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Sanjay Asthana explains the challenges Alzheimer’s disease drug trials have faced and introduces us to new, promising approaches to stopping or delaying the disease. 9/11/2018

Guest: Dr. James Lah, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Alzheimer's Disease Investigator, Emory University
Research has shown Alzheimer's disease can be present in the brain decades before symptoms arise. Dr. James Lah discusses how he believes Alzheimer’s disease prevention should start in young and middle adulthood and shares with us what his vision of a cure might look like. 8/28/2018

A sleep scientist explains the importance of sleep to your brain, shares what the scientific community knows about the connections between sleep apnea and brain health, and offers tips for healthy sleep. Guest: Kate Sprecher, postdoctoral research associate, University of Colorado at Boulder

Guest: Suzanne Bottum-Jones, Registered Nurse, Children’s Author, Behavioral Consultant

After more than 15 years of working with behavioral management strategies and symptoms associated with dementia, our guest has turned her focus to educating families and caregivers who are affected by this disease. She provides tips that every caregiver should know and sheds light on why it was important for her to write a children’s book that addresses Alzheimer’s disease.

Guest: Dr. Amy Kind, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Geriatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Director, VA Dementia Care Clinic, Investigator, Wisconsin ADRC

Social determinants of health play a big role in our overall well-being. Unfortunately, too often we fail to recognize the impacts that these factors have on our brains and overall health. Dr. Amy Kind and her research team at the University of Wisconsin developed a tool called the Neighborhood Atlas to visualize neighborhood disparities and help facilitate change.

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Guest: Dr. Elizabeth Chapman, geriatrician at UW Health specializing in acute care geriatric medicine and delirium in hospitalized patients

Delirium can be caused by a range of conditions and can take on many different forms. One consistency, however, is its relation to an increased risk for developing dementia. Dr. Elizabeth Chapman speaks on the connections between these conditions and offers some useful tips to help prevent delirium

Guest: Dr. Cerise Elliott, Senior Research Program Analyst at the National Institute on Aging

Dr. Cerise Elliott gives a look at the structure and function of the National Institutes of Health and its work relating to Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. She also emphasizes the importance of diversity in research and of recruitment and retention as Alzheimer’s disease-related research moves forward.

With the dramatic increase in life expectancy among people with Down syndrome over recent decades, it has been observed they develop Alzheimer’s disease at a much younger age and at a much higher incidence than the general population. Our guest, an expert on brain imaging and neurodegeneration, discusses the theories behind this relationship and the similarities and differences in how Alzheimer's disease progresses in the Down syndrome and general populations. Guest: Dr. Brad Christian, professor of medical physics and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin


Research in dementia care has traditionally examined community and nursing home settings, leaving a gap in research on care for dementia patients during hospital stays. After identifying a need for improvement in caring for hospital patients with dementia, our guest developed a new approach that helps hospital staff better recognize dementia and address it. Guest: Dr. Andrea Gilmore-Bykovskyi, PhD, RN, Researcher, Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

The only true way to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is through a brain autopsy after death, but advancements in neuroimaging are giving scientists a clearer picture of what’s happening in the brain while patients are still alive.

Guest: Samantha Allison, PhD, Researcher at the Wisconsin ADRC and WRAP study.

Dr. Howard Federoff, a ground-breaking researcher of brain disorders, discusses his research relating to predicting Alzheimer’s disease through a blood test andshares his lifestyle habits for brain health. Guest: Dr. Howard Federoff, MD, PhD, Researcher and Professor of Neurology at University of California, Irvine College of Medicine. 

The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, was recently recognized as the first Dementia Friendly VA hospital in the country. We hear from Dr. Mary Wyman and Margaret Flood on the importance of Dementia Friendly and what it takes to reach this designation. Guests: Dr. Mary Wyman, Clinical Psychologist, and Margaret Flood, Clinically Licensed Social Worker, VA Caregiver Support Coordinator

Alzheimer's disease-related changes occur in the brain more than 15 years before a person experiences the memory and personality changes associated with the disease. By studying the disease in its earliest stages, scientists hope to find treatments that can prevent or delay the onset of dementia and memory loss. Guest: Sterling Johnson, PhD, Clinical Neuropsychologist, Professor of Geriatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Associate Director of the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Principle Investigator of the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention (WRAP) Study

As we age, swallowing foods and liquids can become harder to do. When someone has trouble swallowing, it is defined as dysphagia. Dr. Nicole Pulia discusses dysphagia and its signs, effects, treatments, and relation to Alzheimer’s disease. Guest: Nicole Pulia, PhD, CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor of Geriatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

After a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, patients and caregivers can turn to local agencies and associations for education and support. Dementia friendly communities represent an international movement to help businesses, the general public, and government agencies better recognize and support people living with dementia. Guest: Joy Schmidt, dementia care specialist, Aging and Disability Resource Center of Dane County

Veterans are at a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease than the general population. A new clinical trial is looking at the effect prescription fish oil has on brain health in veterans and will determine whether the supplement could be used as an effective prevention treatment for the disease. Guest: Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS, geriatrician, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, and investigator, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

The thought of going in for a memory evaluation can be intimidating. Learn more about what you can expect with the evaluation process and get an idea of which behaviors are more concerning than others. In addition, learn why online assessments fall short when it comes to properly diagnosing memory concerns. Guest: Lindsay Clark, PhD, neuropsychologist, UW Health Memory Assessment Clinic, and investigator, Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

Dementia care specialist Teepa Snow discusses techniques caregivers and family members can use to better communicate with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients. Guest: Teepa Snow, dementia care specialist, educator, founder of Positive Approach, LLC

On behalf of the entire Dementia Matters team, thank you for listening to our podcast, and have a happy new year!