Source of many benefits, meditation would also have unsuspected virtues. To believe the results of a new study, published this Thursday 7 in the journal Scientific Reports by Inserm researchers, meditating regularly would slow down the effects of cerebral aging but also prevent Alzheimer’s disease. To reach this conclusion, researchers used 73 people aged 65 and over and analyzed their brain function through imaging tests. Among them were six “meditation experts”, each totaling between 15,000 and 30,000 hours of practice.
After analysis, the scientists then realized that the latter showed significant differences in certain regions of the brain. “Brain regions detected with greater volume or metabolism in people who practice meditation are specifically those that decline the most with age”, explained Gaël Chételat, the main author of this work.
So, “These early findings suggest that meditation may have a positive effect on brain aging, possibly by reducing stress, anxiety, negative emotions, and sleep problems that tend to increase with age. ” the researchers pointed out that some of these elements could be risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, they also wanted to make it clear that this was a pilot study and that it was therefore necessary to take these results with the tweezers. Now, they need to repeat these observations on larger samples to confirm or refute these early results. In parallel, their mission is to understand the mechanisms that would allow mediation to have this positive impact on cerebral aging.
In total, three million people are affected by Alzheimer’s disease including 900,000 patients. According to the figures disclosed by France Alzheimer, 600 new cases per day are diagnosed. And one in four French people over 65 will be affected by the disease by 2025.