A number of studies have been undertaken and published demonstrating the benefits of Yoga and Meditation for many symptoms of dementia.
Our own published report following our successful 18 month trial can be downloaded here.
Yoga for People Living with Dementia in Residential Care Settings
More info is available on The 18 Month Successful Trial Page and also on the Foundation for Nursing studies website
Foundation for Nursing Studies
In 2016 a UCLA study found that yoga meditation was more effective than memory-boosting exercises in improving memory, mood and coping skills.
To Reduce Pre-Alzheimer’s Cognitive Impairment, Get To The Yoga Mat
Through various other studies, researchers have found that:
- Those who practice meditation and yoga have less atrophy in the hippocampus, which is shrunken in people with Alzheimer’s.
- Meditation protects our brain by increasing protective tissues.
- Meditation can help seniors feel less isolated and lonely, two feelings which lead to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
- There is a high correlation between perceived stress and Alzheimer’s. Meditation helps participants feel calmer, lessening perceived stress and the risk of Alzheimer’s.
- Meditation reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which has been known to increase the risk of developing dementia.
- Meditation increases cortical thickness and grey matter which slows the aging rate of the brain. Cortical thickness has been associated with decision making and memory.
One study suggests that taking time from your busy schedule to meditate can actually help preserve your mind and slow Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Researchers found that the group who performed meditation and yoga at least two hours per week had less atrophy in parts of the brain and better brain connectivity than the control group. “These findings suggest that meditation is beneficial for brain preservation, with a slower rate of brain aging throughout life.”
How Meditation Can Slow Alzheimer’s
Another study has found that intense concentration and relaxation could lead to a growth of new brain cells, protecting against the brain shrinkage linked to – and slowing – Alzheimer’s.
Estimating brain age using high-resolution pattern recognition: Younger brains in long-term meditation practitioners
We also post regular updates of research on our Yoga4Dementia Facebook Page.