Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities
Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

CHECK OUT OUR
NEW IPAD APP!

ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Commented

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Can Dance Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's?

Back to Article

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Some research suggests that regular dance classes can improve cognitive function and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

 

Dr. Joe Verghese, associate professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in the Bronx, conducted a research study comparing the effects of different types of physical and mental activities. Dance was the only physical activity that was found to reduce the risk of dementia.

 

Although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason, Verghese has a few theories. “Dance is a complex activity. You have to follow the music, remember the steps and improvise,” says Verghese. “And it’s a physical activity so it also increases the flow of blood to all parts of the body, including the brain.”

 

While Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., director of medical and scientific relations for the Alzheimer’s Association, agrees that the social and physical aspects of regular (at least twice a week) aerobic dance classes may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, she says that even learning a new dance doesn’t necessarily count as a mental activity. “Once a dance is practiced you don’t really think about it any more, it’s like driving a car. When we talk about increasing mental activity, we’re talking about learning a new language, a new subject, or reading a book.”

 

So if you want to be sure to increase your mental activity, you’ll have to compliment your dancing with a class on the history of salsa or a book on your favorite dancer or musician. 

Health Blog

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives, nutrition and losing weight. Do