HealthDay News — Based on study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease on May 10, 2016, a regular routine of meditation practice may benefit elderly patients beginning to experience memory deficits.

The study focused on 25 adults ages 55 and older deemed to have mild cognitive impairment. Researchers randomly assigned them to either 12 weeks of meditation and yoga practices, or 12 weeks of memory enhancement training.

Both groups exhibited small improvements on tests of verbal memory; however, the meditation group showed a bigger change, on average, in tests of visuospatial memory. The meditators also showed fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Helen Lavretsky, MD, a professor-in-residence in the psychiatry department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and senior researcher on the study, said this is a key finding. “The benefits of yoga and meditation are diverse,” Lavretsky told HealthDay. “People like different things. Personally, I don’t like crossword puzzles. Mind-body practices, like yoga and meditation, offer another option.”

Reference

Eyre HA, Acevedo B, Yang H, et al. Changes in Neural Connectivity and Memory Following a Yoga Intervention for Older Adults: A Pilot Study. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;52(2):673-84. doi: 10.3233/JAD-150653.

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