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.
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.
The Synergic Trial: Exercise, Cognitive Training & Vitamin D
- We recently completed recruitment for this clinical trial that is looking at the combined effects of exercise, cognitive training, and Vitamin D on cognition and mobility of people with mild cognitive impairment.
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 pause 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. Recruiting for this project should start in winter of 2021 due to COVID-19 delays.
- 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 partnered with the Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA to examine the feasbility, acceptability, and efficacy of implementing a combined cognitive and exercise training program for older adults in a community-setting.
- We evaluated the YMCA Move for Health Program. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the referral process, as well as the feasibility and effectiveness of the Move for Health program. Results were presented in mid-November to program directors.