What are the effects of meditation on the brain

By: HarborView Senior Assisted Living

Meditation and the Brain

Interestingly, research on meditation shows that people who regularly meditate have brainwave patterns similar to those of monks who practice rigorous forms of meditation. What does this have to do with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and cognitive decline as people age? Can meditation be part of a holistic lifestyle that decreases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s? What impact does meditation have on the brain and body?

Meditation and Alzheimer’s: What Does the Research Show?

Though history records meditation practices as far back as five thousand years ago, modern scientific research on meditation is relatively new. One of the primary benefits of meditation as it relates to Alzheimer’s disease is its ability to reduce stress and to mitigate its negative effects. Though the biochemical effects of stress and Alzheimer’s risk are often discussed at only a superficial level, recent research suggests that stress management may be a critically important piece of Alzheimer’s prevention.

One particular study looked at a form of meditation that takes about 12 minutes per day called Kirtan Kriya. Kritan Kriya has been successfully used to improve memory in studies of people with self-identified cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment, and memory issues. Additionally, 12 minutes a day of Kritan Kriya meditation has been shown to improve memory and cognition in highly stressed caregivers. All of these groups are at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Another exciting aspect of this study was Kirtan Kriya’s impact on telomerase. Telomerase regulates the length of the DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes. Some research has hypothesized that telomere length is correlated with how rapidly a person’s body is aging. This particular study on the Kirtan Kirya meditation technique showed that, on average, participants’ levels of telomerase increased by 43% throughout the study. This is the most significant increase ever recorded!

In addition to mitigating the risks of Alzheimer’s disease mentioned above, Kirtan Kirya has been shown to improve insulin and glucose regulatory genes, decrease depression, reduce anxiety, upregulate immune system genes, down-regulate inflammatory genes, and improve sleep. It has also been shown to improve participants' perceived spiritual and psychological well-being. This meditation technique is accessible, easy to learn, and can be practiced by individuals of all ages.

Memory Care in San Diego, California

Many assisted living homes specialize in memory care and senior care. These communities are dedicated to caring for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients with safety and compassion. HarborView Senior Assisted Living in Banker’s Hill is one of those homes. The owners have personally had loved ones who needed memory care. They created an inviting, welcoming place where people living with Alzheimer’s could be cared for with dignity, respect, and compassion.

Not only is HarborView Senior Assisted Living full of gentle, well-trained, and loving staff members, but it’s also situated in Banker’s Hill with a gorgeous view of the bay. Introducing your loved one to a home where they have full-time care, meals cooked for them, laundry done, and safeguards in place allows you to rest easy, knowing they are well cared for.

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We'd love to hear from you and get scheduled for a tour today. The decision to move your loved one into an assisted living community is often an emotional and challenging one. Rest assured that HarborView offers the highest caliber of holistic care. We treat every member of our community as if they were our own loved ones. We look forward to the opportunity of connecting with you. 

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