Meditation and music may alter the path of Alzheimer’s

Researchers have found that meditation may alter the course of Alzheimer’s.

Meditation can alter Alzheimer’s

Researchers have found that a simple meditation or music-listening program may alter certain biomarkers of cellular ageing and Alzheimer’s disease in older adults who are experiencing memory loss.

The study findings also suggest these changes may be directly related to improvements in memory and cognition, sleep, mood and quality of life. 

Sixty older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), a condition that may represent a preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, participated in West Virginia University School of Public Health’s randomised, clinical trial. 

While SCD has been linked to increased risk for dementia and associated with certain neuropathological changes implicated in Alzheimer’s disease development, including elevated brain levels of beta amyloid, this preclinical period may also provide a critical window for therapeutic intervention.

In the trial, each participant was randomly assigned to either a beginner meditation or music-listening program and asked to practise 12 minutes per day for 12 weeks. At baseline and three months, blood samples were collected. Two markers of cellular ageing were measured as well as blood levels of specific beta-amyloid peptides commonly linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition, memory and cognitive function, stress, sleep, mood and quality of life were measured. All participants were followed for a total of six months.

Following completion of the three-month intervention period, the meditation group showed significantly greater increases in a key beta amyloid peptide than did the music group.

Rising beta amyloid levels were correlated with improvements in memory and cognitive function, as well as with those in mood, sleep and quality of life at both three and six months; these positive associations were substantially more pronounced in the meditation group.

Both groups improved significantly in memory and cognitive function, as well as in sleep and psychological status, although improvements in stress, mood and quality of life were substantially greater in the meditation group. 

Have you ever tried meditation? Did you find that it improved your quality of life and sleeping patterns? Would you recommend it to others?

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    COMMENTS

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    Charlie
    21st Nov 2018
    1:32pm
    Like in the 70's when we would smoke dope and listen to music for hours... So, I can still remember it
    Steph
    21st Nov 2018
    3:43pm
    I've been meditating since I was 18, not every day for 40 years, but regularly. My memory is still deteriorating however, in the normal manner of ageing, forgetting names/nouns especially and sometimes details. I don't know if my mental deterioration is less than that of other people who don't meditate.
    Redhead
    21st Nov 2018
    6:21pm
    I am deaf and have spinal issues, so how can I keep myself updated in memories etc...as per above comments??

    21st Nov 2018
    6:48pm
    It depends on the music. Classical music is best. Mindless New-Age drivel will rot your brain at least as fast as pop, rock and rap do.

    21st Nov 2018
    6:50pm
    Reading mind-challenging books is more likely to stave off dementia than mind-emptying meditation.
    Dianne
    22nd Nov 2018
    8:48am
    I have been trying to meditate but have not managed to stop my mind from ticking over. I have been to someone for a lesson have downloaded an app which I interact with most days but still no success. I find I am unable to.visualise. Any hints would be helpful
    Steph
    22nd Nov 2018
    10:44am
    Meditation doesn't have to be an effort. It is just being completely absorbed in something so that the chatterbox mind calms down for a while. It can be absorption in a good book, music, scenery, or an activity like cooking, swimming, walking or anything we enjoy. If one can't do activities, focusing on the breath is effectual. Its a fallacy that the mind is supposed to be "stopped" or "emptied" permanently, as we wouldn't be able to function.
    ekbg2002
    25th Nov 2018
    9:57am
    Our destinies are planned from conception. If we are going to get cancer, a Neuro dx as I have or Alzheimer’s .., we can’t stop it. Everything in moderation, enjoy today, make memories with loved ones. What is, is!
    Mamashaz
    25th Nov 2018
    3:26pm
    Meditation is about focus. I accidentally started meditating regularly in my early teens...it happened to be the end of a yoga session I attended. It was a simple breathing exercise slow counting your breathing. It has helped me through exams, getting to sleep, childbirth, panic attacks, illness...
    I know that a serious illness that I survived about 8 years ago puts me at higher risk for dementia. I'm finding names in particular harder to recall but I calm and focus with this method and the name will make its way to my conscious mind.
    I recently ran a few sessions for some colleagues at work to show them some different ways to meditate. This was a request that was made to me to introduce them to what I do everyday. I have had feedback this has helped at least 2 of them with sleep and focus issues.


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