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The Importance of Cognitive Exercises for Dementia Mitigation

July 31, 2019

By John DenBoer, PhD, clinical neuropsychologist and founder of SMART Brain Aging Inc.

denboer headshotWe know that there is just no cure for dementia, but from my many years of research, I have found that practicing cognitive exercises on a regular basis does in fact mitigate the onset of dementia. 

What are Cognitive Exercises?

As a neuropsychologist and dementia specialist, I have conducted years of research on the correlation between cognitive training impacting memory loss. In my studies, I have found that the brain needs to be used on a regular basis engaging in different things, learning new information and challenging the brain consistently to help with memory loss.

Cognitive exercises are designed to decrease memory loss and halt dementia. These exercises will test a patient’s ability to process speed, execute functions while also focusing on speech, language, memory, attention and concentration.

How Can I Get a Patient in the Habit of Practicing Cognitive Exercises?

It can be difficult to get in the habit for doing cognitive exercises. Luckily, there are ways that I have found make it easy to remember to do these important tasks. With our online cognitive program, a patient can set reminders so that they can receive an alert via email to do their cognitive exercises. Remember, a patient can do just 20 minutes or longer! You want to make sure that these beneficial exercises are also fun. It is best to make it a habit to do at least 20 minutes of cognitive exercises at least 3 times a week.

Patients can also add little things to their regular routines to improve their cognitive abilities. For example, try not to stick to well-known patterns. They can start by taking different routes home while driving or walking. It is helpful to stimulate and challenge the brain to keep it growing. The brain has to stay sharp to be able to carry out brain-based skills needed to carry out daily tasks. Exercising the brain on a regular basis will help process information better as well as improve memory and enhance the way patients learn and problem solve.  

The Benefits of Cognitive Exercises Along With Physical Exercises

In addition to cognitive exercise, it is very beneficial to pair it with physical exercise. This means doing 30 minutes of physical activity followed by cognitive exercises. This gives you a significant chance to fight off vascular dementia and to mitigate Alzheimer disease.

For a healthy brain, patients should maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

Remember to challenge the brain after exercise to see even more benefits.

About John W. DenBoer, PhD

Dr. John DenBoer is a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in the assessment and detection of early-stage dementia.  He is the creator of Smart Brain Aging a company that helps delay the onset of dementia and reduce its severity, through a science-backed brain training programme.

Dr DenBoer was inspired to become an expert in the field after his grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, robbing him of the woman who raised him.


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