Treating Dementia with Lifestyle Changes

Dr. Dean Foti, MD, FRCPC, Behavioural Neurologist, discusses how you can improve dementia through lifestyle changes.

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Dr. Dean Foti, MD, FRCPC, Behavioural Neurologist, discusses how you can improve dementia through lifestyle changes.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Dean Foti, MD, FRCPC, Behavioural Neurologist

Duration: 1 minute, 48 seconds

One of the best things we’ve learned in the last five years about dementia treatment is that something so simple as walking, regular exercise, is extraordinarily helpful for slowing the rate of dementia, and also for preventing dementia. 

Just walking 45 minutes, three times a week, at a brisk pace, you don’t have to be running fast and building up a sweat, just a regular, brisk walk is good for the brain, and is probably worth about five times as much as doing crossword puzzles or those other games that people do to keep their brain strong. 

There are a number of different types of exercises that can be helpful. They have to be aerobic, so it could involve things like swimming, or it could involve the stationary bicycle, anything that gets your heart rate up a little bit is actually a good form of activity. If you’re really not certain what exercise to do, or how you should get started, then going to your local community centre or a referral to a recreational therapist may also generate some ideas about what might work with your own particular body and interests. 

We encourage all of our patients to get in touch with the Alzheimer’s Society, not just for Alzheimer’s disease, but for other types of dementias. They can refer you to community supports. There are other health professionals that can be quite useful, especially if there are behaviour problems. 

We are working more and more with music therapists that can really be much more effective in calming behaviours than a lot of the medications we use for behaviour. So if you have any concerns about what to do or what help you need, then you can see your doctor, or you can even contact the Alzheimer’s Society locally, and they can help you in the right direction. 

Presenter: Dr. Dean Foti, Neurologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Neurologist

Video Quiz ( 28 participated.)

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:


Livinga healthy lifestyle, for example, eating well, losing weight and controllingcholesterol are all things you can do to help prevent dementia. 


Sincedementia is not well understood, there is no point in trying to improvesymptoms.


Creatingsimple lifestyle changes, like walking and daily exercise, can help improve anddelay the progression of dementia. 

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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