Long Term Meditation May Slow Brain Aging

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An imaging study conducted at UCLA showed that long-term meditators experienced less gray matter loss compared with persons who did not meditate.

Source: MedScape (the article was published online January 21 in Frontiers in Psychology.)

The researchers report that this is the largest related study of the effects of meditation on the brain, and it is also unique because it looked at long-term meditators. The study revealed nine clusters spread throughout the entire brain where the difference in meditators was particularly significant.

“We expected that there would be small regions in the brain where we would see an effect ― mostly in regions where there was a difference reported before,” lead investigator Florian Kurth, MD, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Brain Mapping Center, told Medscape Medical News. “What we found, however, were effects throughout the whole brain, which is something really different; it’s really huge.”

As the demographics of aging in the world population change, the quality of life of aging populations will be critically important. The year 2015 is a tipping point for a transition in the world population (RawScienceTV- World Population: 2015 Is An Astounding Transition).  Per John Parker, the Environmental Editor for The Economist, “For all of history, humans have lived in societies dominated (in numbers at least) by children. By 2060 children will be barely more numerous than any other age group up to 65. And looking after parents and grandparents will be as big a, or a bigger, social requirement ­as bringing up children and grandchildren. The year 2015 is, roughly, the halfway point in this astounding transformation.”  

Harvard MRI Meditation Study | source: The Feel Guide

 

[Main Photo: Flickr user Minoru Nitta]

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