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Meditation and stress reduction may slow Alzheimer’s disease

Created date

February 20th, 2014

The results from a new study suggest that lowering stress by practicing meditation may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illness. 

Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston compared two groups of people with mild cognitive impairment—one group practiced yoga and meditation to reduce stress while the other group did not. After eight weeks, images of their brains were studied.

The group that practiced meditation was found to have less atrophy of the hippocampus region of the brain than the control group. The hippocampus is known to atrophy as people progress in dementia-related illnesses. Other studies have shown that meditation activates the hippocampus.

The researchers say that more studies are needed in this area but are hopeful that meditation, which is an inexpensive and simple intervention, may help improve the quality of life in people with mild cognitive impairment by slowing the decline of brain function.