Our research aims to understand how we can best harness the benefits of physical activity to prevent dementia and improve the lives of those who are living with dementia. Some of our studies investigate how we can increase the benefits of physical activity by altering the type, intensity, or delivery. Other studies evaluate how exercise can be combined with other interventions like cognitive training or diet to augment the benefits of exercise. We also are working to develop more accessible physical activity and exercise programs for people living with dementia.
We are looking for people living with dementia, care partners, and individuals who deliver physical activity, nutrition, and/or general wellness programs or services in their community to assess knowledge and behaviour change after reviewing the Dementia Resources for Eating, Activity, and Meaningful Inclusion (DREAM) project website and resources.
The DELIGHT team is a collaboration of researchers, exercise providers, health care providers, dementia service providers, and people with lived experience with dementia (those living with dementia and their care partners). A lifestyle intervention program has been created to support people living with dementia and their care partners, with the hopes of assisting them in:
- meeting their health and well-being goals
- fostering social relationships and connection
- support optimism and living well
The Brain and Body Lab and the Stress and Healthy Aging Research Lab at X University (formerly Ryerson University) are conducting a study to understand older adults’ needs and preferences for using remote peer support to maintain brain-healthy lifestyle habits.
Sharing Our Voices is an intergenerational program that gives participants the opportunity to build social connections and explore collaborative, creative processes.
Art pieces created as part of this program will be showcased throughout the Waterloo Region.
The overall goal of the study is to test and evaluate the dementia-inclusive choices for exercise (DICE) toolkit. The aim of the DICE toolkit is to increase the quantity, quality, and variety of exercise opportunities that can include persons living with dementia.
Clinicians and researchers throughout Canada are working together to progress research on age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Vascular dementia, Frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia. Our team is running two separate studies:
Understanding the Diversity of Dementia (COMPASS-ND)
- This study aims to assess individuals with different sorts of cognitive and movement changes seen in older adults. It is part of a major Canadian research initiative to better understand the diversity of dementia.
Short-term Effect of Exercise on Cognition and Mood
The influence of social engagement on exercise-associated cognitive and mood effects
- This research project aims to assess mood and cognitive effects of solo exercise compared to exercise with social engagement amongst older women. This project is currently ON HOLD due to COVID-19 regulations.
The acute effects of moderate-intensity exercise on cognitive function in healthy young adults
- We are interested in the immediate effects of moderate-intensity exercise on cognition and mood in healthy young adults. Recrutiment for this study is currently ON HOLD due to COVID 19 restrictions.
- This project examines virtual reality exercise games to encourage engagement in exercise.
Local Research Opportunities
We have recently completed a number of key partnership with community organizations to pilot and evaluate innovative programs in community settings.
- We are partnered with the Alzheimer Society of Waterloo-Wellington, the Waterloo Public Library, and the YMCA of Three Rivers in offering the Sharing Our Voices Program, a intergeneration art collaboration for persons living with dementia and youth. The Brain and Body lab is performing the program evaluation to determine the effectivenss of the Sharing Our Voices program.