A UCLA study has found that meditation appeared to help preserve our brain’s grey matter, the tissue that contains neurons.
WHY DO WE CARE?
Most of us are living longer, more than ten years longer. Yet our brains begin to wither in volume, weight decreases and unfortunately loses some functional abilities.
Degenerative disease and mental illness afflicts many.
Meditation is something accessible to us all, it doesn’t have to cost a thing and can be dipped in and out of throughout life.
Scientists compared 50 people who had meditated for years and 50 people who didn’t .
Participants in each group showed a loss of grey matter as the years passed.
However, those who had a little “om” action (the meditators) didn’t have as big a decline.
Dr Florian Kurth, said even the researchers were surprised by the magnitude of the difference.
“We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating,” he said. “Instead, what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain.”
FANCY BRAIN SCAN:
Areas of the brain affected by ageing are in red. The people who meditate are in the bottom row.
WHO THEY STUDIED:
24 to 77
Meditating groups : had been doing so for 4 to 46 years, with an average of 20 years.
Brains were scanned using high-res magnetic resonance imaging.
Obviously, you could argue meditators had healthy lifestyles etc, etc, but this research is definitely food for thought.
The original research article can be found here: