Dementia risk reduction: A how-to guide

Currently, treatments for dementia are limited. This makes prevention that much more important. The idea that you could do something about your risk of dementia is a relatively new concept.  In this webinar, Drs. Anthony Levinson and Richard Sztramko discuss dementia and how you can decrease your personal risk of developing it by addressing various modifiable risk factors.

Learn the answers to the following questions:

  • 1:32 What is dementia?
  • 6:26 How does our cognition change as we age?
  • 9:06 How can you prevent dementia?
  • 13:43 Physical activity and weight management
  • 16:17 Blood vessel health and dementia
  • 21:18 Smoking, alcohol consumption
  • 23:36 Nutrition, diet, and supplements
  • 26:35 Cognitive and social activity
  • 29:17 Medication adverse effects and other conditions
  • 34:13 The more healthy lifestyle behaviours, the better.
  • 40:28 'Old-age-forgetfulness' versus dementia
  • 41:35 How often should I be tested for dementia?
  • 43:16 Are there treatments for Alzheimer’s or other dementias?
  • 46:00 Commonly prescribed drugs and cognitive impairment
  • 49:33 Can stress or anxiety disorders increase the risk of dementia?
  • 51:40 Can healthy lifestyle behaviours help those with mild cognitive impairment or dementia?
  • 52:57 If hearing loss is such an important risk factor, how do you encourage loved ones to wear hearing aids?
  • 54:37 What does the research say about proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for gastritis and dementia?

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The content of this webinar was written and adapted based on credible, high-quality, non-biased sources such as MedlinePlus, the National Institutes for Mental Health, the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, the American Psychiatric Association, the Cochrane Library, the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) and others. In particular, evidence-based content about dementia risk reduction was also derived from the World Health Organization and the Lancet Commission reports. Please see additional references on the e-learning lesson landing page

DISCLAIMER: These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (

Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of new and old blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with changing public health recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website.