Tuesday March 26, 2019

Daily meditation may keep you attentive in old age

"Meditation has the potential to alter longitudinal trajectories of cognitive change across a person's life," Zanesco added

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Meditation, Wikimedia Commons
  • Meditation can help old people to stay attentive
  • Meditative practices can increase cognition
  • It can improve health overall

Want to stay attentive in your old age? Start doing meditation. Regular and intensive sessions over the course of a lifetime may help you to stay focused and attentive even in advanced years, according to a new study.

yoga posture that prevent from alzheimer
Meditation can increase attention span. wisdonquterly

“This study is the first to offer evidence that intensive and continued meditation practice is associated with enduring improvements in sustained attention and response inhibition,” said lead author of the study Anthony Zanesco, now at the University of Miami.

“Meditation has the potential to alter longitudinal trajectories of cognitive change across a person’s life,” Zanesco added. The research evaluates the benefits that people gained after three months of full-time meditation training and whether these benefits are maintained seven years later.

Also Read: Stem Cells May Help To Stay Strong In Old Age

This study, published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, follows up on previous work by the same group of researchers at the University of California in 2011. The 2011 study assessed the cognitive abilities of a group of people who regularly meditated before and after they went on a three-month-long retreat.

After the first group’s initial retreat was over, the second group received similar intensive training. As part of this study, follow-up assessments were conducted six months, 18 months and seven years after completion of the retreats. During the last appraisal, participants were asked to estimate how much time over the course of seven years they had spent meditating outside of formal retreat settings, such as through daily or non-intensive practice.

Meditation is good, Vastu tips
Meditative practices can improve cognition. Pixabay

The participants who had remained in the study all reported some form of continued meditation practice — 85 percent attended at least one meditation retreat and they practised amounts on average that was comparable to an hour a day for seven years. The participants again completed assessments designed to measure their reaction time and ability to pay attention to a task. IANS

Next Story

Childhood Maltreatment Strongest Risk Factor for Depression in Adulthood: Lancet

The findings are to develop or improve risk-adapted interventions for people susceptible to a worse long-term clinical outcome

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depression
Fourteen had a remission period of less than two months and could therefore be regarded as having chronic depression. Pixabay

Facing trauma in childhood can significantly change the structure of the brain, which may result in severe depression which could even be recurrent in adulthood, say researchers.

The results from MRI scan images suggest that both childhood maltreatment and recurring depression are associated with similar reductions in the surface area of the insular cortex, part of the brain that regulates emotion and self-awareness.

This reduction in the brain could make a future relapse more likely, said the study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, which found childhood maltreatment one of the strongest risk factors for major depression in adulthood.

depression
Depression is among the leading causes of disability in the U.S. and is being closely monitored by health authorities amid rising suicides nationwide. Pixabay

“Given the impact of the insular cortex on brain functions such as emotional awareness, it’s possible that the changes we saw make patients less responsive to conventional treatments,” said lead researcher Nils Opel from the University of Munster in Germany.

The study included 110 patients aged 18 to 60 years. Of the 75 patients who experienced a relapse, 48 had experienced one additional episode, seven reported two episodes, and six experienced three episodes.

Fourteen had a remission period of less than two months and could therefore be regarded as having chronic depression.

depression
This reduction in the brain could make a future relapse more likely, said the study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal. Pixabay

ALSO READ: 4 Indian-American Teenagers Awarded for Inventions in Environmental Issues

The findings are to develop or improve risk-adapted interventions for people susceptible to a worse long-term clinical outcome.

Future psychiatric research should therefore explore how the findings could be translated into special attention, care and treatment that could improve patient outcomes, the study noted. (IANS)