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Yoga, Meditation Show Memory, Mood Benefit in Seniors

Yoga/meditation group showed improved memory, less depression and anxiety

WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) — A regular meditation practice might benefit older adults beginning to experience memory deficits, according to a study published online May 10 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The study focused on 25 adults ages 55 and older deemed to have mild cognitive impairment. Researchers randomly assigned them to either 12 weeks of meditation and yoga practices, or 12 weeks of memory enhancement training.

Both groups exhibited small improvements on tests of verbal memory; however, the meditation group showed a bigger change, on average, in tests of visuospatial memory. The meditators also showed fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.

To Helen Lavretsky, M.D., a professor-in-residence in the psychiatry department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and senior researcher on the study, that is a key finding. “The benefits of yoga and meditation are diverse,” Lavretsky told HealthDay. “People like different things. Personally, I don’t like crossword puzzles. Mind-body practices, like yoga and meditation, offer another option.”

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