RESEARCH – Healthy Cognitive Aging


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Walking three hours a week improves brain function: UBC research

July 23, 2015

Published in the Vancouver Sun. For those with mild cognitive impairment caused by mini-strokes, exercise is the best medicine   VANCOUVER — Taking regular brisk walks improves brain function in people who have already had mini-strokes, according to newly released findings by University of British Columbia researcher Teresa Liu-Ambrose. It’s more evidence that shows physical exercise is an effective way to prevent or slow the progress of dementia, says Liu-Ambrose, who is presenting the research for the first time Thursday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, D.C., the world’s largest gathering of experts on Alzheimer’s and other dementias. “We’re quite keen to focus on vascular dementia because it … Read more

Category: Adding Quality to Later Life Years, Healthy Cognitive Aging, News


Balance and other simple physical function measurements can predict cognitive decline

March 22, 2015

Published in the Research Insider, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute Although it may seem counter-intuitive, looking ‘below the neck’ for signs of cognitive decline before obvious symptoms appear is potentially a highly effective and accessible alternative to high-level cognitive neuroimaging or neurpsychological assessments. A new study by Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute scientist Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose reveals that simple measures of physical function, such as a person’s ability to balance, to walk, or their strength level, are strongly related to subtle changes in cognitive status and may predict cognitive function in the future. “We’re recognizing that dementia is a disease that probably develops over 20 to 30 years – it’s not necessarily … Read more

Category: Healthy Cognitive Aging, News


Examining the effect of the relationship between falls and mild cognitive impairment on mobility and executive functions in community-dwelling older adults.

March 20, 2015

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Mar;63(3):590-3. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13290. Background Cognitive impairment and falls are geriatric “giants” that significantly increase morbidity and mortality in older adults. Even mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a significant risk factor for falls. Clinical gait abnormalities including slow gait and falls are early biomarkers of cognitive impairment, suggesting that impaired cognitive function and mobility share common underlying pathophysiology. Despite the vast interest in the interplay between impaired cognitive function and mobility, few studies to date have investigated whether their co-manifestation results in a broader and greater degree of deficits, potentially due to greater burden of pathology, than singular domain (i.e., cognitive or mobility) impairment. Understanding the specific and … Read more

Category: Falls Prevention, Healthy Cognitive Aging, Publication


Reduce falls by improving cognitive function

August 6, 2013

Originally published at UBC CPD, by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose What I did before Falls are a common geriatric syndrome and are the third leading cause of chronic disability worldwide. Falls are not random events and occur, at least in part, due to impaired physiological function, such as impaired balance, and cognitive impairment. Primary care physicians can use the Physiological Profile Assessment screening tool – it has normative data (65 and up) and provides information for patients as well.1 Results from both systematic reviews and meta-analyses highlight that exercise can play an important role in falls prevention.2 The Otago Exercise Program (OEP) – a physical therapist-delivered, or nurse-delivered, progressive home-based strength and … Read more

Category: Falls Prevention, Healthy Cognitive Aging, Publication