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Meditation Delays Dementia in Seniors, Recent Research Shows

Meditation delays dementia in seniors who practice it daily, a recent study says. A University of Health Sciences team released a significant study in the Journal of Aging and Mental Health in March 2023.

  • Dr. Rebecca Davis’s study published in March 2023 reveals that daily meditation sessions for seniors can significantly delay the onset of dementia.
  • The study involved 700 participants aged 65 and older, with meditation group members showing improved memory, cognitive function, and brain activity compared to non-meditators.
  • Meditation offers a practical and accessible means of dementia prevention for seniors, potentially strengthening the brain’s resistance to cognitive decline.
image of a senior man meditating with a woman watching him from behind
Meditation can boost seniors’ cognitive function and lower their risk of developing dementia, recent research shows. Credit: Pexels

Meditation Delays Dementia, Research Finds

The team’s extensive research included 700 65-year-olds which Dr. Davis and her colleagues chose. The study participants had no dementia symptoms at the start. The group was split equally between those who meditated regularly and those who did not.

The meditation group meditated every day for two years, each session lasting 30 minutes. These mindfulness and relaxation workshops were suitable for seniors without meditation expertise.

The researchers performed memory tests, cognitive evaluations, and brain scans throughout the study. At last, the findings were impressive: meditating seniors had superior memory test scores and shorter cognitive deterioration than non-meditators.

In other words, meditation boosted connectivity and activity in memory and cognitive areas in brain scans. This implies that meditation may strengthen the brain’s dementia resistance.

Dr. Davis’s research offers promising data for patients at risk of developing dementia. It highlights the potential advantages of everyday meditation as a realistic and accessible dementia prevention technique. For seniors worried about cognitive decline, it’s an easy and fun method to safeguard brain health and well-being.

image of a woman relaxing at home
Daily meditation techniques such as mindfulness meditation or even yoga nidra can increase emotional awareness and problem-solving skills. Credit: Pexels

Which Types of Meditation Boost Cognitive Functions?

Generally, each type of meditation can improve cognition – especially among the elderly. Below, you can see some of the most popular and effective techniques:

  • Mindfulness meditation: Focusing on the present without judgment. This technique improves attention, focus, and working memory. It improves self-regulation and cognitive function by increasing awareness of thoughts and emotions.
  • Transcendental Meditation (TM): Popular mantra meditation. TM involves quietly repeating a mantra to calm the mind and relax. TM has been shown to aid memory, problem-solving, and stress and anxiety.
  • Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a guided meditation and relaxation practice. Lying down and following an instructor’s directions is required. Yoga Nidra improves cognition, anxiety, and creativity. It produces profound relaxation and may help elders retain cognitive health.

In essence, Dr. Davis’s research offers a ray of hope for those at risk of developing dementia. It underscores the potential benefits of integrating daily meditation after 50 into the lives of seniors as a practical and accessible means of dementia prevention.

Adele Joanne
Adele Joanne
Adele Joanne is a content manager studying the effects of mindfulness on people in today's fast-changing society. Her eight-year experience in copywriting blends with her passion for meditation with a clear goal in mind: helping others live in the present moment one day at a time.

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