Lenisa Brandão, PhD

Speech Therapist

We need to encourage more interdisciplinary work which will benefit the cognitive health of older adults and includes crucial aspects such as dignity, life quality and well-being.

Current Work

Lenisa is an associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Communication at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. She promotes the social inclusion of older adults living with aphasia and raising awareness of the power of art to improve communication.

Personal Hero

Marielle Franco

Words of Strength

Creativity and playfulness


To reduce the scale and impact of dementia, we need an interdisciplinary effort that includes changing conceptions and actions that prevent our societies from being healthy and inclusive.


Lenisa coordinates a project that practices clowning with older adults who survive stroke and live with aphasia. Why would clowning help? Clowns are social beings who solve problems creatively. They amplify nonverbal communication and, in clown world, failure is success.


Lenisa bonded with an amazing and diverse group who values the need for equity in brain health. GBHI provided opportunities to reflect in her career and introduced knowledge and skills that strengthened her commitment to social justice and public health.


Tackling the challenges faced by older adults living with language difficulties and social isolation in Brazil requires innovative approaches. Lenisa is interested in investigating the effects of clowning on quality of life and functional communication.

Education & Experience

Lenisa Brandão received her Speech Therapy training from the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Brazil. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in Psychology from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. She has a Posdoc in Psycholinguistics at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, in research cooperation with Lund University (Sweden). She is an Associate Professor at the Department of Health and Human Communication at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul.