Two excellent courses on dementia, “Preventing Dementia” and “Understanding Dementia” are available online for free from the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Center at the University of Tasmania. I completed “Understanding Dementia” and found it engaging and very informative. I plan to complete “Preventing Dementia” this fall. The courses are provided in MOOC format which is as a Massive Open Online Course. Registration and additional information are available at this link:
Information from the Wicking Dementia website on the course which will start in October:
Preventing Dementia Course Description
Preventing Dementia is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), offering university-quality education about the latest research in dementia risk and protective factors. The free course provides an opportunity to engage with the perspectives of a global community, without requiring exams or assignments.
With the ageing of the world’s population, dementia is a major public health issue. Is it possible to modify your risk of dementia? A substantial proportion of risk is associated with advanced ageing as well as genetic risk factors, but the latest research has indicated there are modifiable risk factors which may decrease your susceptibility to dementia. The Preventing Dementia MOOC investigates the best available evidence about dementia prevention, drawing on a range of expertise from around the globe.
Preventing Dementia is suited to everyone – whether you are an individual with an interest in brain health and/or dementia risk reduction, or an allied health professional, clinician, aged care service provider or health policy professional – this course is designed to be accessible and appealing to people from diverse backgrounds.
To obtain the most from this course, participants should expect to spend approximately 2 hours per week engaging with the content and completing related course activities. The 4 weeks of scheduled content is released weekly and is accessible across 6 weeks in total, with the additional 2 weeks providing time to catch up on (or review), content. After successfully completing the final quiz, participants will be eligible to download a certificate of completion.
Module 1 – Can Dementia Be Prevented?
- Key concepts in dementia prevention
- Definition of dementia and introduction to the diseases that cause dementia
- The impact of dementia across the globe
- The major non-modifiable and modifiable risk factors for dementia
- The impact of genetics on dementia risk
- How dementia risk is measured at individual and population levels
Module 2 – Dementia Risk – It’s Not All in Your Head
- Evidence supporting links between key vascular risk factors and dementia
- The impact of physical activity and diet on dementia risk
- The impact of smoking and alcohol on dementia risk
Module 3 – A Healthy and Active Mind
- Evidence supporting links between key lifestyle factors and risk of dementia
- Impact of depression on dementia risk
- Impact of education on dementia risk
- Concept of cognitive reserve
Module 4 – Interventions for Prevention
- Key strategies for prevention at the individual and population level
- Encouraging healthy behaviours
- What you can do to reduce your risk of dementia
- Current research initiatives in dementia prevention
The other course offered by Wicking Dementia, “Understanding Dementia”, will be available for 9 weeks of study starting in February, 2021. You can learn more about it on the Wicking Dementia website.