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Boon Lead Tee, MD, MSc

Atlantic Fellow at GBHI
UCSF Memory and Aging Center

Professional Profile
Home Country: Malaysia
Field of Employment: Neurology
Key Areas: dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, metabolism, frontotemporal dementia

Boon Lead Tee is a neurologist specializing in dementia, based at HuaLien Tzu Chi General Hospital and National Taiwan University Hospital. There, she helped set up memory clinics and community based dementia screening programs at both sites. During her sessions at the memory clinics, Tee encountered many patients afflicted with dementia, including her own grandmother. Seeing them suffer strengthened her determination to contribute to the field of dementia research.

I am working to better diagnose and more accurately predict dementia, with the goal of making dementia preventable and even curable.

From her patients, Tee noticed body weight and eating behavior changes during the early and late stages of Alzheimer’s. This discovery prompted her to dedicate her work to studying metabolism in dementia. She believes that understanding these metabolic changes may help pave the way toward a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology.

In addition, Tee noticed that most Asian dementia centers are oriented toward Alzheimer’s disease, while other less common types of dementia, such as frontotemporal dementia, are not emphasized. Consequently, there is a lack of consensus around language tests suitable to evaluate Sino-Tibetan speaking frontotemporal dementia patients. Through the Atlantic Fellows program at GBHI, Tee hopes to establish a language standard of Sino-Tibetan speaking individuals with frontotemporal dementia and develop tools to help diagnose frontotemporal dementia in clinical settings.

Bio: Boon Lead Tee received her medical degree from National Taiwan University in 2008. She then completed the neurology training program at En Chu Kong Hospital and National Taiwan University. Since finishing her residency in 2013, she has worked as a clinical neurologist specializing in dementia at National Taiwan University, Hsinchu and Tzu Chi General Hospital, HuaLien. In her early career as a dementia specialist, she helped set up memory clinics and was involved in a government funded community based dementia screening program. Tee was also an instructor in a dementia caregiver training program. During this time, she obtained her master’s degree in clinical medicine from National Taiwan University, researching the metabolism of Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice.