- Mental decline is creeping up on us as we get older but there are ways that people can do to reduce the rate it’s going.
- Age as when cognitive decline begins is changing due to several factors like the environment, and interventions.
- A study suggests that meditation, a practice where a person focuses the mind in a relaxed state, can help delay cognitive decline.
How often do we hear questions like “Where did I put my glasses?” or statements like “I’m supposed to do something, I can’t remember what.” from our parents or grandparents. We’re quick to deduce that it’s a sign of aging.
Brain deterioration is experienced starting in the early middle age. We can’t turn back time, but we can slow down mental decline. That’s why the time to start doing something about it is when you’re still young.
Cognitive decline affects not just the memory, but also the processing speed, focus, concentration and reasoning. That’s why scientists are always finding ways to help keep the brains healthy and alert for a longer time.
Meditation has been known to improve our cognitive abilities, including mental clarity, stability, and creativity. And it can be practiced at home, no medical fees needed and very safe.
Previous studies showed that mindful interventions offer a number of benefits, such as mental focus although there are also uncertainties whether meditation’s benefits can endure over longer periods of time.
Researchers from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Center for Mind and Brain have been following a group of people, who attended a meditation course 7 years ago, over the past few years.
The study, titled “Shamatha Project,” published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, followed 60 meditators who participated in two meditation retreats held at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, CO.
Seven years later, these “people did not show the expected levels of age-related decline in sustained attention.”
“This study is the first to offer evidence that intensive and continued meditation practice is associated with enduring improvements in sustained attention and response inhibition, with the potential to alter longitudinal trajectories of cognitive change across a person’s life,” lead author Anthony Zanesco, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Miami, FL, said.
“These findings provide initial, yet provocative, evidence that continued meditation practice may be associated with a moderation of age-related decline in attentional components known to be sensitive to aging,” the authors concluded.
Source: Medical News Today