Meditate to Both Reduce Anxiety and to Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Meditation Shot2

A recent study by Dr. Linda Mah shows that higher levels of anxiety in study subjects were associated with a greater prevalence of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  This raises the question of whether reducing anxiety could prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Mah indicates that mindfulness-based meditation has showed promise in reducing anxiety, which could potentially help prevent dementia or reduce the likelihood of seniors developing Alzheimer’s.  Other positive side-effects of mindfulness meditation:  a better mood, a greater sense of gratitude and more centered thought.

As detailed on PsyBlog:

The results showed that for people with mild anxiety symptoms, the chances of developing Alzheimer’s increased by 33%, for those with moderate anxiety it was 78% and for those with severe anxiety, the risk increased by 135%.

“While there is no published evidence to demonstrate whether drug treatments used in psychiatry for treating anxiety would be helpful in managing anxiety symptoms in people with mild cognitive impairment or in reducing their risk of conversion to Alzheimer’s, we think that at the very least behavioural stress management programs could be recommended.

In particular, there has been research on the use of mindfulness-based stress reduction in treating anxiety and other psychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s –and this is showing promise.”

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Have you been able to work meditation into your daily routine?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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