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Dementia Matters

About the Host

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doctor nathaniel chin

Dr. Nathaniel Chin is the creator and host of Dementia Matters. He is a geriatrician, memory clinic doctor, and medical director 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 a podcast about Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia. Creator and host Dr. Nathaniel Chin interviews leading scientists and caregiving experts to bring listeners the latest in Alzheimer's disease news, research and caregiver resources.

Three Ways to Listen

You can listen to episodes through our website or subscribe to Dementia Matters through ApplePodcasts, Spotify, Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear Dementia Matters on Fridays at 4 p.m. (CT) and again at 10 p.m. (CT) during the "Science Friday" segment on WMUU Radio, 102.9 FM in Madison, and streaming online.

Contact Us

Email your questions and episode suggestions to dementiamatters@medicine.wisc.edu.
Audio Editors: Eli Gadbury and Alexia Spevacek
Producers: Amy Lambright Murphy and Caoilfhinn Rauwerdink

Like what you’re hearing and learning? Make an impact when you make a tax-deductible gift to the Dementia Matters fund of the UW Initiative to End Alzheimer’s.

Recent Episodes

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Headshot of Dr. Bob Pryzbelski
Robert Przybelski, MD, MS

On July 6, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval for the Alzheimer’s disease drug Leqembi (lecanemab-irmb), the first medicine shown to delay the course of the disease. Having gone through a rigorous approval process, the medication exemplifies a critical advancement in the ongoing battle to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Having already prescribed the treatment to real-life patients, Dr. Robert Przybelski joins the podcast to discuss his experience prescribing and administering lecanemab, what clinicians and patients should discuss when considering these treatments, and what is needed to integrate these treatments into the healthcare system.

Guest: Robert Przybelski, MD, MS, director, Geriatric Memory Clinics, UW Health, professor, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

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Headshot of Crystal Glover
Crystal Glover, PhD

Dr. Crystal Glover, health equity in aging researcher at Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, joins the podcast to discuss the importance of increasing brain donations and tissue samples from older adults of underrepresented backgrounds. Dr. Glover talks about the reasons why participants may be interested in brain donations, the barriers that they may face, and the benefits of combining both qualitative and quantitative data within her research. This episode is part of a series featuring speakers from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center’s (NACC) Fall 2022 ADRC Meeting, where the overarching theme was Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in ADRC research and operations. 

Guest: Crystal Glover, PhD, leader, Outreach, Recruitment, and Engagement Core, Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Behavioral Sciences, Rush Medical College

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Headshot of Paul Aisen, MD
Paul Aisen, MD

On June 9, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory committee unanimously voted to approve lecanemab, moving the treatment one step closer to full FDA approval. In the lead up to the FDA’s official announcement expected in early July, Dr. Paul Aisen joins the podcast to discuss Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. Aisen,  the founding director of the Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute (ATRI) and a leading figure in Alzheimer’s disease research for over three decades, talks about the Phase 3 clinical trials for lecanemab and gantenerumab and shares highlights from the 2022 Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) conference.

Guest: Paul Aisen, MD, professor of neurology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Director, Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute

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Headshot of Lisa Barnes, PhD
Lisa Barnes, PhD

Dr. Lisa Barnes joins the podcast to discuss her research focusing on how social determinants of health, specifically racial differences, affect chronic diseases of aging.She explains the difference between equality, equity and justice, and the different drivers of disparities within the medical field. This episode is part of a series featuring speakers from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center’s (NACC) Fall 2022 ADRC Meeting, where the overarching theme was Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in ADRC research and operations. 

Guest: Lisa Barnes, PhD, Alla V. and Solomon Jesmer Professor of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, neuropsychologist, Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

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Headshot of Nathaniel Chin, MD, in his office
Nathaniel Chin, MD
To mark National Mediterranean Diet Month, Dr. Nathaniel Chin discusses a recent National Institute on Aging-funded study that suggests the MIND and Mediterranean diets — both rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, olive oil, beans and fish — are associated with fewer signs of Alzheimer’s disease in the brains of older adults. In this special episode of Dementia Matters, Chin also revisits his interview with the creator of the MIND diet, Dr. Martha Clare Morris, shares recommendations for ten things to incorporate into your diet and five things to limit, and touches on the benefits of intermittent fasting.
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Headshot of Sarah Biber, PhD
Sarah Biber, PhD

Dr. Sarah Biber, the program director for the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC), joins the podcast to discuss efforts to increase representation and equitable practices across the 37 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers (ADRCs). She discusses key disparities in Alzheimer’s disease research, why diversity and inclusion are imperative in research, and what is being done to address these disparities with the data collected from research participants. This episode is the first of an upcoming series featuring speakers from the Fall 2022 ADRC Meeting, where the overarching theme was Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in ADRC research and operations. 

Guest: Sarah Biber, PhD, program director, National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center

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logo for the Alzheimer's Association International Conference Neuroscience Next

Recorded live from the Wisconsin ADRC’s Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias Research Day, Dr. Nathaniel Chin discusses the importance of mentorship and the future of neuroscience and Alzheimer’s disease research with the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC) Neuroscience Next 'One to Watch' award recipients and the event’s organizers.

Guests: Barbara Bendlin, PhD, director, UW-Madison Neuroscience and Public Policy Program, leader, Research Education Component (REC), Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center; Claire Sexton, DPhil, senior director of scientific programs and outreach, Alzheimer’s Association; Nadia Dehghani, BS, co-chair, Neuroscience Next Scientific Program Committee; Claire André, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine, Université de Montréal; Chinmayi Balusu, founder, CEO, Simply Neuroscience; Kacie Deters, PhD, assistant professor, University of California Los Angeles; Kao Lee Yang, MPA/PhD candidate in the Neuroscience and Public Policy Program, University of Wisconsin–Madison

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Headshot of Natascha Merten, PhD, MS
Natascha Merten, PhD, MS

Dr. Natascha Merten joins the podcast to discuss her study focused on trends in cognitive function across generations. Merten also explains her research on the associations between sensory and motor functions and blood-based biomarkers for neurodegeneration and dementia.

Guest: Natascha Merten, PhD, MS, director, Beaver Dam Offspring Study-Neurocognitive Aging Study, assistant professor, Departments of Population Health Sciences and Medicine, University of Wisconsin–Madison

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Annalise Rahman-Filipiak, PhD

Dr. Annalise Rahman-Filipiak joins the podcast to discuss her research focused on disclosing neuroimaging biomarkers across diverse populations. She addresses why some people might want to know their biomarker results, while others might not, and how careful disclosure of these results to at-risk individuals may help prepare them and their families for the future through personalized treatment, research engagement, advanced planning and emotional support.

Guest: Annalise Rahman-Filipiak, PhD, assistant professor, neuropsychologist, department of psychiatry, University of Michigan

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Elizabeth Bukowy, DO, CMD

For families and dementia care partners, palliative care can help improve the quality of life for their loved ones and themselves by addressing physical and emotional needs. However, starting conversations around end-of-life care and planning can be difficult. Dr. Elizabeth Bukowy joins the podcast to explain the difference between palliative and hospice care, share how families and care partners can start these challenging conversations, and discuss why these discussions are essential for quality of life.

Guest: Elizabeth Bukowy, DO, CMD, assistant professor, Medical College of Wisconsin Division of Geriatrics; medical director, Lutheran Home and Congregational Home

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Fayron Epps, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN

When seeking medical information and treatment, different racial and ethnic groups may require specially tailored information to relate to, understand and apply to their own experiences. In this episode, Dr. Fayron Epps joins the podcast to talk about the unique experiences of African American caregivers and her lab's work to provide education and assistance to their needs. Epps seeks to promote quality of life for families affected by dementia through research, education and service. This episode is part of a special three-part series highlighting speakers from the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute’s 20th Annual Update in Alzheimer’s Research and Related Dementias.

Guest: Fayron Epps, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, assistant professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, principal investigator, Faith Village Research Lab, founder, Alter

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Headshot of Ron Petersen, MD, PhD, director of Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
Ronald C. Petersen, MD, PhD

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an emerging term in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, characterized as the stage between the expected decline in memory and thinking that happens with age and the more severe decline of dementia. In this episode, Dr. Ronald Petersen joins the podcast to talk about how MCI compares to dementia, its many causes, and the impact of new lifestyle and drug interventions on its progression, as well as how his career led him to study Alzheimer's disease and MCI. This episode is part of a special three-part series highlighting speakers from the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute’s 20th Annual Update in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.

Guest: Ronald C. Petersen, MD, PhD, director, Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, director, Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, Cora Kanow Professor of Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

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Headshot of Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS
Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS
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Sterling Johnson, PhD

In a special episode of Dementia Matters, Drs. Cynthia Carlsson and Sterling Johnson join the podcast to discuss what they know from lecanemab’s clinical trials following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) accelerated approval, granted on January 6, 2023.

Guests: Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS, director, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute, and Sterling Johnson, PhD, leader, Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP), associate director, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute

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Headshot of former Wisconsin Governor Martin "Marty" Schreiber
Martin Schreiber

Former Governor of Wisconsin, Martin Schreiber, returns to Dementia Matters to discuss different methods for communicating with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, including therapeutic fibbing. Governor Schreiber has been a widely outspoken advocate for Alzheimer’s disease while caring for his late wife Elaine, who passed away from the disease in April of 2022. In this episode, he also talks about his book, My Two Elaines, where he opens up about his experience as a caregiver.

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

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Headshot of Dr. Joanne Pike, CEO and president of the Alzheimer's Association
Joanne Pike, DrPH
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Harry Johns

In October 2022, the Alzheimer's Association named Dr. Joanne Pike, the current president of the Association, as the next CEO, succeeding Harry Johns who has served as CEO since 2005. In this episode, Pike and Johns join the podcast to share their insights on how the Alzheimer's Association has grown over the past few decades and the future plans of the association, as well as the next steps in Alzheimer's treatment from both community and medication perspectives.

Guests: Joanne Pike, DrPH, president and CEO, Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, and Harry Johns, former CEO, Alzheimer's Association, former CEO and president, Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM), trustee and former chair, World Dementia Council

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Headshot of Nathaniel Chin, MD, in his office
Nathaniel Chin, MD

Host Nathaniel Chin, MD, gives an overview of the new Alzheimer’s treatment Leqembi (lecanemab), and highlights results from the second and third phases of its clinical trials. On January 6, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Leqembi (lecanemab-irmb) via the Accelerated Approval pathway for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Headshot of Nathaniel Chin, MD
Nathaniel Chin, MD

Host Nathaniel Chin, MD, starts the new year by discussing modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, commenting on building healthy lifestyle habits for the new year, and reflecting as Dementia Matters celebrates five years of production.

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Headshot of Russell Swerdlow, MD
Russell Swerdlow, MD

It’s generally known that mitochondria are the powerhouse of cells, but did you know they can play a significant role in aging processes? Through the field of bioenergetics, scientists are looking to study how changes in mitochondria affect us as we age and their connection to Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Russell Swerdlow joins the podcast to discuss the field of bioenergetics and how mitochondria can impact Alzheimer’s disease and other aspects of aging.

Guest: Russell Swerdlow, MD, director, Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, director, Heartland Center for Mitochondrial Medicine, professor of neurology, University of Kansas

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Emily Largent, PhD, RN
Emily Largent, PhD, RN
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Claire Erickson, PhD, MPA
Claire Erickson, PhD, MPA

The field of biomarkers is advancing quickly, allowing preclinical Alzheimer’s disease to be identified earlier and earlier in a person’s life. As individuals learn they are at risk for Alzheimer’s years or even decades before experiencing cognitive decline, what does this mean for them and for society as a whole? Drs. Emily Largent and Claire Erickson join the podcast to discuss ten key areas, such as healthcare, insurance, and direct-to-consumer testing, that should be addressed to support those at risk for cognitive decline and broader U.S. society as biomarker testing and disclosures become more prominent.

Guests: Emily Largent, PhD, RN, Emanuel and Robert Hart Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and Claire Erickson, PhD, MPA, postdoctoral fellow, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

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Dr. Roderick Corriveau
Roderick Corriveau, PhD

Though brain and cognitive changes are typically diagnosed as one form of dementia, recent studies have shown that mixed dementia is more common than previously thought. Mixed dementia, also known as Multiple-etiology dementia, is a condition where brain changes are caused by more than one neurological disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia (LBD), or frontotemporal dementia. Dr. Roderick Corriveau joins the podcast to discuss what is known about mixed dementia and how the field of studying neurological diseases is advancing to diagnose and treat this condition.

Guest: Roderick Corriveau, PhD, program director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), NIH Lead, Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias (ADRD) Summits

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Photo of podcast guest Josh Grill, PhD
Josh Grill, PhD
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jason karlawish
Jason Karlawish, MD

Though several validated biomarkers are studied and used in Alzheimer’s disease research, most research participants don’t have the opportunity to learn their biomarker results afterward, even if they have cognitive impairment. Drs. Jason Karlawish and Josh Grill join the podcast to discuss the debate over sharing biomarker results with research participants, how these powerful disclosures can be made ethically, and why it's as important for the field to study biomarker disclosures as it is to study the biomarkers themselves.

Guests: Josh Grill, PhD, director, Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, associate professor, University of California, Irvine, and Jason Karlawish, MD, co-director, Penn Memory Center, professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy, and neurology, University of Pennsylvania

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Cerise Elliott, PhD

Dementia Matters Special Series: The National Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease Data and Research Part 6

Concluding our special series on the 2022 Spring ADRC Meeting, Dr. Cerise Elliott joins the podcast to discuss the NIA’s work within the field of Alzheimer’s disease research, how the NIA promotes open science to advance research across the ADRC program, and other key takeaways from the spring meeting.

Guest: Cerise Elliott, PhD, program director for clinical interventions and diagnostics, division of neuroscience, National Institute on Aging

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Rhoda Au, PhD

Dementia Matters Special Series: The National Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease Data and Research Part 5

Whether it be due to new research findings, innovative approaches and ideas, or technological advancements, Alzheimer’s disease research is constantly evolving. Now, dementia research is headed into the digital frontier. Dr. Rhoda Au joins the podcast to discuss digital biomarkers, gamifying cognitive testing, and how the field of Alzheimer’s disease research is entering its digital age.

Guest: Rhoda Au, PhD, digital technology leader, Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, co-principal investigator, director of neuropsychology, Framingham Heart Study, professor, Boston University School of Medicine

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A portrait photo of Beth Mormino, PhD
Beth Mormino, PhD

Dementia Matters Special Series: The National Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease Data and Research Part 4

Brain imaging is a key tool in Alzheimer’s disease research and diagnoses, allowing scientists to see changes in the brain years, even decades, before an individual experiences symptoms of dementia. The data these images provide researchers with is incredibly useful, leading the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center to take up numerous efforts to standardize, unify and share this type of data across the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers. Dr. Beth Mormino joins the podcast to discuss the NIA’s SCAN initiative, the new “legacy” data set, and the importance of standardizing MRI and PET scan procedures to predict brain trajectories better.

Guest: Beth Mormino, PhD, assistant professor, Stanford University

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Sean Mooney, PhD
Sean Mooney, PhD

Dementia Matters Special Series: The National Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease Data and Research Part 3

With big data comes big responsibility. Dr. Sean Mooney joins the podcast to discuss his work with NACC, the precautions NACC takes to keep participant data secure, and how this data can be used to better predict Alzheimer’s disease risk to allow for earlier interventions.

Guest: Sean Mooney, PhD, associate director of technology, National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center, Chief Research Information Officer, UW Medicine, professor, University of Washington