#164 - Amanda Smith, M.D.: Diagnosing, preventing, and treating Alzheimer’s disease, and what we can all learn from patients with dementia


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By Peter Attia, MD, Peter Attia, and MD. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Amanda Grant Smith is a geriatric psychiatrist with decades of experience treating patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. In this episode, Amanda shares how she developed a passion for geriatric psychiatry as a means to support dementia patients. She explains how to recognize, define, and diagnose dementia—a process that still remains somewhat elusive. They also talk about the significance of ApoE genotype and compare the various forms of dementia including differentiating between Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia. They discuss the current landscape of clinical trials, the drug pipeline, and talk about a very promising monoclonal antibody directed at amyloid beta that has the potential to be a disease-modifying drug. They conclude with a discussion about how to define “healthy aging” and reflect on how understanding dementia can shape one’s life philosophy.

We discuss:

  • How Amanda developed a passion for geriatric psychiatry [3:15];
  • Defining and diagnosing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease [13:30];
  • Medical tests for dementia and their relationship to clinical symptoms [22:45];
  • The pathology of dementia, and the role of the tau and beta-amyloid protein in Alzheimer’s disease [33:15];
  • The significance of ApoE genotype, and differentiating Alzheimer’s disease from Lewy body dementia [43:15];
  • The evolution of Alzheimer’s disease prevention, care, and medications over the last 20 years [52:45];
  • Psychiatric support for dementia patients (and caregivers) with depression and anxiety [1:02:45];
  • Drug pipeline, clinical trials, and major challenges to overcome [1:13:45];
  • Redefining Alzheimer’s disease and designing effective trials [1:23:00];
  • The promise of monoclonal antibody treatments for Alzheimer’s disease [1:34:15];
  • How we should measure outcomes in dementia trials and define “healthy aging” [1:42:30];
  • How understanding dementia can reshape our life philosophy [1:53:45]; and
  • More.

Learn more: https://peterattiamd.com/ Show notes page for this episode: https://peterattiamd.com/AmandaSmith Subscribe to receive exclusive subscriber-only content: https://peterattiamd.com/subscribe/ Sign up to receive Peter's email newsletter: https://peterattiamd.com/newsletter/ Connect with Peter on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

216 episodes