Alzheimer’s disease, as well as every other form of dementia out there, are some of the most taxing diseases in the world. Not only are they degenerative disease that destroy your cognitive processes until there is nothing left of you but a shell of who you once were, but they also take a huge toll on your loved ones.
And it’s not like the condition is all that rare or anything, as 7.7 million new cases are reported every year. Currently, there are over fifty million people suffering from dementia, with Alzheimer’s making up more than seventy percent of those cases. Additionally, only one in four people suffering from the condition will ever be diagnosed.
Plus, the cost for Alzheimer’s care is enormous, estimated to hover around the $236 billion mark this year alone. With all of these tragic factors, it’s only natural for people, medical experts and civilians alike, to attempt to cure the affliction by any means necessary. Oh, did I mention there is no cure?
Well, even though there is no actual medical cure, there are several practices and remedies that can help with prevention, and even prolong the onset of the condition. The idea is to constantly exercise your cognitive skills so as to postpone the disease from setting in as long as possible.
One of these exercises that delay the onset of the ailment was only recently discovered, as researchers suggest yoga and meditation prevent memory decline. The results come after a team of neuroscientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that a three month course of meditation and yoga can help maintain cognitive control and lower the emotional and cognitive impact of the disease.
According to the study’s senior author, UCLA Department of Psychiatry’s Helen Lavretsky,
Memory training was comparable to yoga with meditation in terms of improving memory, but yoga provided a broader benefit than memory training because it also helped with mood, anxiety and coping skills.
For the study, 25 participants older than 55 who reported memory problems were divided into two groups and tested individually. At the beginning, as well as at the end of the study, the memorizing and cognitive abilities of all participants were measured.
One of the groups went through weekly memory enhancement drills lasting for one hour and through twenty minutes of daily memory exercises, while the second groups went through one hour every week of Kundalini yoga and through twenty minutes of Kirtan Kriya meditation.
It turns out that verbal memory skills improved for both groups, but the shared benefits stop there. The second group, the yoga and meditation group, also benefited from improved visual-spatial memory skills, lower levels of anxiety and depression, as well as improved coping and stress management mechanisms.
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