The intricate link between the brain and dementia

Dementia is a complex and challenging condition that affects millions worldwide. 

Dementia is a growing challenge. As the population ages and people live for longer, it has become one of the most important health and care issues facing the world. In England it is estimated that around 676,000 people have dementia. In the whole of the UK, the number of people with dementia is estimated at 850,000. 

There is a considerable economic cost associated with the disease estimated at £23 billion a year, which is predicted to triple by 2040. This is more than the cost of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

{source: NHS England}

While it is commonly associated with cognitive decline, emerging research suggests a fascinating connection between dementia and the interplay of cognitive, motor, and visual skills. In this blog post, we delve into the latest research findings, unraveling the intricate link between these skills and the development or mitigation of dementia.

“now, more than ever, is the time to work in partnership to ensure specialist dementia care and support is available to everyone who needs it, when they need it”. Dr hilda hayo, dementia uk

cognitive skills and dementia:

Cognitive Reserve:

  • Recent studies indicate that individuals with a higher cognitive reserve may be more resilient to the effects of dementia. Cognitive reserve refers to the brain’s ability to withstand damage and continue functioning despite the presence of neurological changes. Engaging in activities that challenge and stimulate the brain, such as strategic games and continuous learning, has been linked to building cognitive reserve.

Executive Functioning:

  • Dementia often impacts executive functions, including reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making. Strong cognitive skills, particularly in these areas, may serve as a protective factor against the cognitive decline associated with dementia. Regular mental exercises and cognitive training have shown promise in maintaining and enhancing executive functioning.

motor skills and dementia:

Physical Activity and Brain Health:

  • Research suggests a positive correlation between physical activity and a reduced risk of dementia. Engaging in regular exercise not only promotes cardiovascular health but also contributes to improved cognitive function. Motor skills play a crucial role in maintaining overall physical fitness, making them a potential modifiable factor in dementia prevention.

Neuroprotective Effects:

  • The connection between motor skills and dementia extends to the neuroprotective effects of physical activity. Exercise has been shown to stimulate the release of neurotrophic factors, supporting the growth and survival of neurons. This process may contribute to the preservation of cognitive function and potentially delay the onset of dementia.

visual skills and dementia:

Vision and Cognitive Decline:

  • Impaired visual skills, such as reduced depth perception and visual tracking, have been linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Visual impairments can limit an individual’s ability to navigate their environment and engage in mentally stimulating activities, potentially contributing to cognitive deterioration.

Comprehensive Assessments:

  • Regular eye examinations and comprehensive assessments of visual skills may aid in the early detection of dementia-related changes. Addressing visual impairments and promoting eye health could be a valuable aspect of holistic dementia care.


The relationship between cognitive, motor, and visual skills and dementia is a multifaceted and evolving field of research. SKILLCOURT has developed a clear pathway for Dementia patients, aiding a Return to Walk programme, clear activities designed to identify a person’s Bio Brain Age, as well as activities for people with Dementia to improve the three key skills – Motor, Cognitive and Visual, or as SKILLCOURT refers to as – VICOMOTORIC.

To find out more about dementia please visit Dementia UK. To find out how SKILLCOURT can support within your medical practice, care home or facility in supporting Dementia care please click here


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