Prof. Lee-Fay Low: Exploring Mild Cognitive Impairment & Early Signs of Dementia | Bouncing Back #48

In this episode, host Joahanna Wickramaratne is joined by Prof. Lee-Fay Low, who is a Professor in Ageing and Health at the University of Sydney

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) refers to a situation where there’s a slight decrease in memory and cognitive skills beyond what’s typical for someone’s age. Though not as severe as dementia, MCI still carries a notable risk, potentially progressing to more significant cognitive difficulties like Dementia. Curious about how to avoid this progression? Keep watching as Professor Lee-Fay Low delves into this topic in detail.

Meet Prof. Lee-Fay Low

Lee-Fay Low (BSc Psych (Hons), PhD) is a Professor in Ageing and Health at the University of Sydney. With a background as a registered psychologist and a doctorate in psychiatric epidemiology, Professor Lee-Fay is dedicated to conducting research that makes a meaningful impact in the world. Her expertise lies in rehabilitation and post-diagnostic support for individuals with dementia, as well as timely diagnosis, stigma reduction, and improving dementia literacy.

She also focuses on community and aged care, specializing in culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Professor Lee-Fay possesses methodological skills in designing complex interventions, implementing methods, conducting population studies, systematic reviews, and clustered randomized trials.

With over 150 peer-reviewed articles and three books on dementia to her credit, Professor Lee-Fay is a prolific author and an active advocate for improving the treatment and care of older adults. Transitioning from clinical psychology to dementia research, Professor Lee-Fay discovered her passion for the field, driven by the desire to address pressing issues affecting older individuals and those with dementia.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Professor Lee-Fay shares personal interests that reflect her diverse tastes. She enjoys reading fantasy novels, particularly those by Brandon Sanderson, and reality television, favoring shows like “Survivor” and “The Devil’s Plan” on Netflix. An avid podcast listener, Professor Lee-Fay tunes into various genres, including news podcasts and reality show recaps.

About the episode

In this episode, Professor Lee-Fay starts by discussing how resilience can keep your brain healthy and prevent Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which can lead to more serious memory problems. By discussing staying strong and MCI, she shares ways to keep your mind strong as you get older.

MCI is when you start having trouble remembering more than usual for your age. It’s not as severe as dementia, but it can get worse over time. Doctors might need special tests to figure out if it’s MCI or something else causing memory problems, like being sick or feeling sad.

Professor Lee-Fay says preventing MCI or making it less likely to happen is essential. These include exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, keeping your brain active with puzzles or learning new things, and spending time with others. These activities not only help you stay strong but also protect your brain from getting worse.

Following that, the conversation transitioned to dementia. Dementia is a group of memory problems that are more serious than MCI. While MCI doesn’t stop you from doing your daily tasks, dementia does. People with dementia have difficulty remembering things, thinking clearly, and doing things on their own. They need a lot of help from others.

People with dementia may also have trouble talking, solving problems, and controlling emotions. As their condition worsens, they might act differently or feel upset. This can be hard for them and the people caring for them. It is important to take care of their emotional needs and memory problems.

Professor Lee-Fay also suggests many ways to help prevent dementia and support people who have it in this episode. Doing things like eating well, staying active, and spending time with loved ones can help slow down how fast dementia gets worse. Creating a supportive environment with meaningful activities and personal care plans can also make life better for people with dementia and those who take care of them.

In conclusion

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and dementia can significantly impact your life, affecting not only your memory but also your ability to carry out daily tasks and maintain emotional well-being. Exercising, eating healthy foods, keeping your brain busy with puzzles or learning new things, and hanging out with friends can strengthen your brain and lessen the risk of getting MCI and dementia. 

Be the first to see our next episode. Follow us on social media to stay updated: 








You can also subscribe and listen to the show on your preferred podcasting platforms:

Apple Podcasts



iHeart Radio




Google Podcasts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.