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Forever young(er): potential age-defying effects of long-term meditation on gray matter atrophy

Luders, Eileen; Cherbuin, Nicolas; Kurth, Florian

Description

While overall life expectancy has been increasing, the human brain still begins deteriorating after the first two decades of life and continues degrading further with increasing age. Thus, techniques that diminish the negative impact of aging on the brain are desirable. Existing research, although scarce, suggests meditation to be an attractive candidate in the quest for an accessible and inexpensive, efficacious remedy. Here, we examined the link between age and cerebral gray matter...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorLuders, Eileen
dc.contributor.authorCherbuin, Nicolas
dc.contributor.authorKurth, Florian
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-22T05:37:55Z
dc.date.available2015-07-22T05:37:55Z
dc.identifier.issn1664-1078
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/14388
dc.description.abstractWhile overall life expectancy has been increasing, the human brain still begins deteriorating after the first two decades of life and continues degrading further with increasing age. Thus, techniques that diminish the negative impact of aging on the brain are desirable. Existing research, although scarce, suggests meditation to be an attractive candidate in the quest for an accessible and inexpensive, efficacious remedy. Here, we examined the link between age and cerebral gray matter re-analyzing a large sample (n = 100) of long-term meditators and control subjects aged between 24 and 77 years. When correlating global and local gray matter with age, we detected negative correlations within both controls and meditators, suggesting a decline over time. However, the slopes of the regression lines were steeper and the correlation coefficients were stronger in controls than in meditators. Moreover, the age-affected brain regions were much more extended in controls than in meditators, with significant group-by-age interactions in numerous clusters throughout the brain. Altogether, these findings seem to suggest less age-related gray matter atrophy in long-term meditation practitioners.
dc.description.sponsorshipNicolas Cherbuin is funded by Australian Research Council fellowship number 120100227.
dc.format7 pages
dc.publisherFrontiers
dc.rightsCopyright © 2015 Luders, Cherbuin and Kurth. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
dc.sourceFrontiers in Psychology
dc.subjectmri
dc.subjectvbm
dc.subjectaging
dc.subjectbrain
dc.subjectgray matter
dc.subjectmeditation
dc.subjectmindfulness
dc.titleForever young(er): potential age-defying effects of long-term meditation on gray matter atrophy
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume5
dc.date.issued2015-01-21
local.identifier.absfor110300 - CLINICAL SCIENCES
local.identifier.absfor110900 - NEUROSCIENCES
local.identifier.absfor170100 - PSYCHOLOGY
local.identifier.ariespublicationa383154xPUB2434
local.publisher.urlhttp://www.frontiersin.org/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationCherbuin, N., Centre for Research on Ageing Health and Wellbeing, Australian National University
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/FT120100227
local.identifier.essn1664-1078
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1551
local.identifier.doi10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01551
local.identifier.absseo920502 - Health Related to Ageing
local.identifier.absseo920112 - Neurodegenerative Disorders Related to Ageing
dc.date.updated2016-06-14T08:29:38Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84926687806
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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