• University of Edinburgh
  • Brian Health Scotland

Understanding Brain Health: Preventing Dementia

Learn how early detection and protecting brain health can help to reduce the risk of brain diseases that lead to dementia.

5,603 enrolled on this course

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Understanding Brain Health: Preventing Dementia

5,603 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Accreditation available

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Advance your knowledge of dementia prevention with Brain Health Scotland

This course offers an up-to-date exploration of dementia prevention, from early disease detection to positive brain health promotion.

50 million people worldwide currently live with dementia. This number is projected to increase to over 150 million by the year 2050.

A dementia diagnosis represents an advanced stage of disease, with the brain diseases that lead to dementia actually beginning many years before symptoms emerge. This provides a window of opportunity to reduce the risk of dementia by proactively protecting our brain health.

Learn about risk factors for brain disease

On this course, you’ll explore the pathological processes which underpin the diseases that lead to dementia.

You’ll learn how we can predict and detect these brain diseases earlier by managing our own personal risk factors and designing interventions to improve brain health health across the life-course.

Explore the latest developments in brain health research

This course has been created by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Brain Health Scotland and is endorsed by Alzheimer Scotland.

With access to up-to-date brain health and dementia research, you’ll learn about the design of clinical trials for identifying interventions to prevent dementia.

You’ll also explore how health data can be collected and used to develop risk prediction tools for degenerative brain diseases and inform personalised prevention plans.

Promote positive brain health

In order to look towards a future without dementia, public health initiatives must evolve to promote positive brain health for everyone.

Through engaging with this course, you’ll build the skills to evaluate the cultural shift required to move away from thinking of dementia and late-stage disease and towards prioritising brain health throughout life.

What topics will you cover?

  • How does the brain work and what goes wrong to cause neurodegenerative diseases?
  • How can we predict risk and detect disease early?
  • How can we manage risk factors and design interventions to improve brain health?
  • How must public health and clinical practice adapt to prevent dementia?
  • How do we act on a global scale to shift towards a culture of positive brain health?

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The content of the following course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop an understanding of the pathological processes which underpin the diseases that lead to dementia, how these processes begin in mid-life and provide a window of opportunity to reduce risk of dementia in later life
  • Identify risk factors for neurodegenerative disease and explain that brain health can be protected through lifestyle choices and risk modification behaviours
  • Evaluate the latest methods in brain health research, including the design of clinical trials for interventions to prevent dementia
  • Explore the ways health data can be gathered and used to develop risk prediction tools for neurodegenerative disease that inform personalised prevention plans
  • Assess the public health and clinical practice actions needed to help improve brain health at a population and individual level and evaluate the impact of health inequalities on a local and global scale

Who is the course for?

This course will appeal to anyone interested in understanding ways to tackle the dementia epidemic and protect brain health through proactively addressing risk factors and early disease detection.

The course is also designed for healthcare professionals looking to advance their professional development and build knowledge of the latest evidence-based brain health practices.

Who will you learn with?

Director of Brain Health Scotland & Professor of Psychiatry of Ageing (University of Edinburgh). My research explores links between risk factors & expression of Alzheimer's diseases in midlife.

Emma is a Professor of Sport and Exercise Science and Nutrition at Newcastle University with current interests in lifestyle and healthy ageing.

Sophie is a senior lecturer at the University of Glasgow. Her research is focussed on defining novel therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease.

Who developed the course?

The University of Edinburgh

Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top universities and is globally recognised for research, innovation and high-quality teaching.

Brain Health Scotland

At Brain Health Scotland our mission is to inspire and empower everyone in Scotland to protect their brain health and reduce their risk of diseases that lead to dementia.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save


Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 18 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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