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Dementia Matters

About the Host

doctor nathaniel chin

Dr. Nathaniel Chin is 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. 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
Audio Editors: Haoming Meng and Taylor Eberhardt
Producers: Amy Lambright Murphy and Caoilfhinn Rauwerdink

Like what you’re hearing and learning? Make an impact when you make a gift to the UW Initiative to End Alzheimer’s.

Recent Episodes

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

Cerise Elliott, PhD

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.

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

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!

How does hormone replacement therapy affect a woman’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease? Dr. Carey Gleason, a researcher at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, joins us to offer her insight on menopausal hormone therapy and the many factors patients and their physicians should consider in the decision-making process. Guest: Carey Gleason, PhD, Clinical Psychology, Associate Professor and Researcher, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

Examining the bacteria that live in our guts and the role it plays in health is an exciting frontier in scientific inquiry. Researchers are now looking at the gut microbiome for answers about Alzheimer’s disease. Guest: Nick Vogt, MD PhD Student, Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Research Investigator, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

Sleep plays an important role in our day-to-day lives and has a huge impact on our memory and thinking. Learn more about why we need to sleep and some of the negative impacts that poor sleep can have on our brains. Guest: Steven Barczi, MD, Geriatric Sleep Physician, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Recent research shows Alzheimer’s disease can be present up to two decades before symptoms occur; a phenomenon known as preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Comparing the disease to a burning building, some scientists believe treatment needs to happen well before significant foundational damage occurs. Guest: Paul Aisen, MD, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California


The MIND diet was created with the goal of healthy brain aging. This nutrition plan, which is backed up by years of scientific research, details 10 food groups you should incorporate into your diet and five foods that you should limit. Guest: Martha Clare Morris, ScD, Professor of Epidemiology, Rush University Medical Center, and co-creator of the MIND Diet

The Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center is one of about 30 federally supported Alzheimer's Disease Centers in the country. Dr. Sanjay Asthana explains what makes the Wisconsin ADRC unique, the national effort to end Alzheimer’s disease, and the future of disease research. 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

Recent research shows lifetime stressful events, such as divorce, childhood trauma, and military combat, can have negative consequences for brain health and cognition in later life. Guest: Megan Zuelsdorff, PhD, researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison