Reducing the Risk of Cognitive Decline | The Ismaili Canada

Reducing the Risk of Cognitive Decline

June 1, 2021 | Canada

It is often easy to deprioritize or forget the importance of brain health. Unless we start to experience memory loss or concentration problems, we often overlook the symptoms and signs of cognitive decline.

While cognitive decline - such as Alzheimer’s disease or other common medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease - may seem to be separate entities that primarily afflict people as they age, what is emerging scientifically is that they all have common risk and contributing factors, which ought to be addressed even in young adulthood. Early recognition of the symptoms of cognitive decline enables a timely diagnosis, appropriate treatment, access to resources, support for both the diagnosed individual and caregivers, as well as engagement in shared decision-making regarding life planning, health care, and financial matters.

Join Dr. Naheed Rajabali (internal medicine and geriatric medicine specialist), Nadia Tajdin (clinical educator at Jintronix), and moderator Dr. Shahin Jaffer (clinical professor of medicine at UBC) for a conversation about early prevention of cognitive decline. They will also discuss tips for managing potential risk factors, strategies for healthy aging, and approaches to maintain a meaningful quality of life for those who have emerging or existing cognitive decline.

Supports and Resources:

Recommended Reading:

  • Dementia Reimagined: Building a Life of Joy and Dignity from Beginning to End”, by Tia Powell
  • Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer's Journey”, by Jolene Brackey
  • The 36-hour day”, by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins


Dr. Naheed Rajabali (MD), practices internal medicine and geriatric medicine with the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. He completed medical school, his internal medicine residency, and geriatric medicine fellowship at the University of Alberta. He primarily works at the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s acute inpatient ward and consult service, as well as the geriatric emergency department consult service. He also delivers care at the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders program at the Kaye Edmonton Clinic in collaboration with the Department of Neurology. Naheed enjoys teaching and is interested in research and clinical innovation in various areas, including surgery and critical care. He is particularly interested in devising approaches to tailoring care across various disease settings, while also promoting healthy aging in adults.

Naheed has previously been a member of the Aga Khan Health Board's Medical Advisory Services (MAS), and is currently a member on the Board for Generations Calgary: Multi Generational Housing Community Centre.

Nadia Tajdin is a clinical educator at a health care startup that creates interactive technology solutions for rehabilitation and senior care. Nadia has a Master’s degree in dementia studies, with a research interest in improving the quality of life of people with dementia as well as those who care for them.

Dr. Shahin Jaffer (BMedSci, MD, MHSc, FRCPC), is a clinical professor at the University of British Columbia and holds a Master’s degree in health care and epidemiology. She has been practicing as an internal medicine specialist in Delta, BC, for over 20 years. Her main areas of interest and expertise are weight management, diabetes, and cardiovascular health. Dr. Jaffer has served on the Board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation for several years. She is the founding Chair of the Women’s Heart and Brain Health Advocacy Committee on the Federation of Medical Women of Canada, and she is also a member of the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance at the Ottawa Heart Institute.

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