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Searching for the philosopher's stone: promising links between meditation and brain preservation

Luders, Eileen; Cherbuin, Nicolas

Description

In the context of an aging population and increased prevalence of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases, developing strategies to decrease the negative effects of aging is imperative. The scientific study of meditation as a potential tool to downregulate processes implicated in brain aging is an emerging field, and a growing body of research suggests that mindfulness practices are beneficial for cerebral resilience. Adding further evidence to this notion, an increasing number of imaging...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorLuders, Eileen
dc.contributor.authorCherbuin, Nicolas
dc.date.accessioned2016-09-14T04:29:51Z
dc.date.available2016-09-14T04:29:51Z
dc.identifier.issn0077-8923
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/108876
dc.description.abstractIn the context of an aging population and increased prevalence of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases, developing strategies to decrease the negative effects of aging is imperative. The scientific study of meditation as a potential tool to downregulate processes implicated in brain aging is an emerging field, and a growing body of research suggests that mindfulness practices are beneficial for cerebral resilience. Adding further evidence to this notion, an increasing number of imaging studies report effects of meditation on brain structure that are consistent with our understanding of neuroprotection. Here, we review the published findings in this field of research addressing the question of whether meditation diminishes age-related brain degeneration. Altogether, although analyses are still sparse and based on cross-sectional data, study outcomes suggest that meditation might be beneficial for brain preservation-both with respect to gray and white matter-possibly by slowing down the natural (age-related) decrease of brain tissue. Nevertheless, it should also be recognized that, until robust longitudinal data become available, there is no evidence for causation between meditation and brain preservation. This review includes a comprehensive commentary on limitations of the existing research and concludes with implications and directions for future studies.
dc.publisherWiley
dc.rights© 2016 New York Academy of Sciences
dc.sourceAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
dc.subjectmri
dc.subjectaging
dc.subjectbrain
dc.subjectmeditation
dc.subjectmindfulness
dc.titleSearching for the philosopher's stone: promising links between meditation and brain preservation
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume1373
dc.date.issued2016-06
local.publisher.urlhttp://au.wiley.com/WileyCDA/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationLuders, E., Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationCherbuin, N., Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, The Australian National University
local.identifier.essn1749-6632
local.bibliographicCitation.issue1
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage38
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage44
local.identifier.doi10.1111/nyas.13082
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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