Brandy Matthews, MD
Dr. Matthews' areas of research interest include the clinical presentation of frontotemporal dementia and related disorders, social and emotional cognition in the context of neurodegenerative disorders, and the neuroscience of music. She is also interested in systematic assessment of education in neurobehavior across disciplines including neurology, psychiatry, and geriatric medicine.
She began her investigations as a neurology resident at Mayo Clinic under the supervision of Behavioral Neurologist Brad Boeve, MD. Her early research suggested that patients with very early frontotemporal dementia may have deficits in social cognition as evidenced by performance on "theory of mind" neuropsychological tests used in the study of autistic spectrum disorders. She was subsequently the recipient of a National Institutes on Aging training fellowship in dementia research and worked with Bruce Miller and colleagues at University of California San Francisco on the Program Project Grant "Frontotemporal Dementia: Genes, Images, and Emotions." This experience allowed her to secure independent funding from the GRAMMY Foundation for her project "MEANING: Musical Emotion and Affect Naming In NeurodeGeneration." Her data preliminarily suggests that understanding emotion in music may be preserved even as language degenerates as a consequence of dementia.
She continues to explore brain behavior relationships as a member of the Clinical Core of the Indiana Alzheimer's Disease Center (IADC) in an attempt to further efforts to diagnose frontotemporal dementia and related disorders earlier and more accurately. Likewise, as Associate leader of the IADC Education Core and Associate Program Director of the IU Neurology Residency Program, she has designed and implemented a behavioral neurology and dementia curriculum in an effort to better inform trainees and encourage them to pursue careers in behavioral neurology.