Dancing to Defeat Dementia

Dancing, it turns out, can be more than a fun date-night activity. It can help you both physically and mentally. It can even help lower your chances of developing dementia.

“For non-inherited dementia, the concept is to improve the flow of blood, antioxidants and nutrients to damaged brain cells,” says Mehyar Mehrizi, MD, who specializes in neuro-related diseases with IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians. “It will lead to these cells being able to live longer and prevent the onset of disease.”

The management of all cardiovascular risk factors is important for reducing the risk of dementia. This includes not smoking, keeping blood pressure under control, having healthy cholesterol numbers, managing diabetes if you have it and reducing your risk of developing diabetes.

“Regular cognitive exercises which include social activity are preferred,” said Mehrizi.

Make your fight against dementia full of fun – regular activities that get you moving with friends and family.


  1. Dance 20 to 30 minutes at a time, at least five times a week.
  2. Choose a type of dancing where risk of falls is low.
  3. Heart rate needs to be elevated. Discuss safe levels with your cardiologist.
  4. If you can’t stand for long periods of time, try recumbent bikes, recumbent elliptical and swimming.

Featured IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians provider seeing patients for Neurology:

Mehyar Mehrizi, MD