With increased medical facilities and development, the life expectancy has surely increased but we now face a multitude of degenerative diseases that comes as a trade off for the increased life expectancy. Neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimers’ and Parkinson’s have become the bane of our elderly society. Fortunately, we now have a simple, easy and age-old solution to prevent your brain from ageing.
Scientists led by Dr. Florian Kurth at UCLA have discovered that meditation appeared to help preserve the brain’s gray matter, the tissue that contains neurons. They compared 50 people who had meditated for years and 50 who didn’t. Each group in the study was made up of 28 men and 22 women ranging in age from 24 to 77. Those who meditated had been doing so for four to 46 years, with an average of 20 years.
Researchers stated that even though both the groups showed a loss of gray matter as they aged, the volume of gray matter did not decline as much among those who meditated as it did among those who didn’t meditate. In fact the scientists seem quite surprised with their findings themselves.
The researchers say that a direct, causal connection between meditation and preserving gray matter is not possible due to many other confounding factors. Lifestyle choices, personality traits and genetic brain differences come into play. However, they are optimistic. “Still, our results are promising,”, says Dr. Eileen Luders, the lead author and assistant professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA who conducted the study.
So, it sure looks like meditation and yoga is the way to go for healthy ageing of mind, body and soul!
The original publication can be accessed here.