WAI’s 19th Annual Update in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias brings education, support to dementia care professionals

Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute (WAI) hosted the 19th Annual Update in Alzheimer’s disease and Related Dementias November 4-5, 2021. The event, held virtually for the second time, welcomed more than 340 attendees for its conference on Friday, November 5 and and additional 130 attendees at a pre-conference workshop November 4.

Dr. Carlsson welcomes attendees to the event.

The event was hosted by WAI and sponsored by Bader Philanthropies and Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). The annual education program offers a workshop for newer dementia care professionals, a day of education and research updates for health care professionals, and an additional meeting for members of the WAI memory care clinic network.

The program began with a welcome from Sanjay Asthana, MD, director of Wisconsin ADRC and WAI director Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS.

Carlsson said while the event is ideally an annual chance to connect in-person, meeting virtually allows WAI to welcome new attendees and open the event to a broader audience. “We welcome you and hope that you’ll be able to learn from our team members and also think some more about how to creatively provide dementia care throughout your states or regions,” she said.

Dr. Schindler
Dr. Atri

The conference began with a keynote by Suzanne E. Schindler, MD, PhD, about  Clinical Use of Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarkers in Diagnosing Dementia. Dr. Schindler is assistant professor, neurology, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The event’s following session featured a presentation titled “Anti-Amyloid Therapies in Alzheimer’s Disease: Emerging Opportunities & Challenges for Clinical Care” by Alireza Atri, MD, Phd, director Banner Sun Health Institute and lecturer, neurology, Harvard Medical School.


The third keynote was in-depth discussion of patient care and caregiver needs, “Partnering with Families During Hospitalization of Persons with Dementia: Lessons Learned” by Marie Boltz, PhD, GNP-BC, FAAN. Dr. Boltz is a professor at Penn State Nese College of Nursing.

Featured Memory Clinics Richland Hospital Clinic and Latino Geriatric Center

The annual update also included recognition of two members of the WAI Affiliated Memory Diagnostic Network. Long-time network members Richland Hospital Clinic and UCC Latino Geriatric Center were each recognized for their work providing care to people with dementia.

“I’m glad to have this opportunity to recognize their important work and thank them for their dedication to their communities,” Carlsson said.

The WAI Affiliated Dementia Diagnostic Clinic network currently has 40 members. These diverse, state-wide diagnostic clinics provide quality care to more than 3,000 new patients annually, many from rural, otherwise under-served parts of Wisconsin.

The annual update began with a workshop for clinicians on Thursday afternoon. Susanne Seeger, MD, clinical professor of neurology University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, gave an overview of diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Lisa Boyle, MD, MPH, Clinical Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, presented a discussion on Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia Management and Lessons Learned Post-Covid.

More information about the WAI clinic network is online here. Save the date: the network will convene for its annual spring meeting in May 2022 – hopefully in person!