Simple Meditation Improves Brain Function

A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that, after engaging in a mindfulness meditation program, patients with memory loss exhibited an increase in cognitive functioning and cerebral blood flow.

Treatment options for people who suffer from early cognitive impairment have been sparse until recently. While several medicinal trials are currently underway, finding a non-pharmacological treatment option has its advantages. For example, it would sidestep a number of possible complications like side effects and conflicts with other medications.

Mindfulness meditation has shown great promise in treating the symptoms of a number of medical problems. This study tested the efficacy of a brief, simple meditation practice called Kirtan Kriya as an intervention for people with memory loss. The meditation practice was performed by each participant for only 12 minutes each day over an eight-week period.

The results revealed positive results in both functional neuroimaging changes as well as an improvement in cognitive functioning. Interestingly, there were significant changes noticed in cerebral blood flow in participants’ frontal cortex. Not only is the frontal cortex the area of the brain that mediates attention and executive function, but it's also the area that appears to be affected in patients with dementia. 

More:

Study Abstract, PubMed.gov

Kirtan Kriya meditation shows promise in research of memory functions: tampabay.com (St.Petersburg Times)

01/14/11

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