More than 40 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s. Every 66 seconds, one person develops or is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. where the number of sufferers has crossed 5 million.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative condition that affects the brain cells. The progressive death of brain cells that happens over a period of time, can impact neurological functions. The first symptom is usually to do with memory loss and mild confusion. With time, the following symptoms are seen:
Getting lost in familiar locations and places
Difficulty remembering names or conversations
Misplacing things and often putting them in unusual locations
Forget names of family members or close friends
Organizing thoughts or expressing oneself
Executing simple day to day tasks such as cooking, reading or cleaning
Change in moods, depression or aggression
The cognitive decline happens gradually and it is estimated that one in three senior adults die of Alzheimer’s each year.
Impact of Music and Meditation On Cognitive Functions
In a recent randomized controlled trial led by Dr. Kim E.Innes, the impact of Kirtan Kriya meditation (an Indian origin simple meditation process involving chanting of ancient sounds and using repetitive postures of fingers) and music listening were studied on 60 participants. The participants, whose age group was between 50 to 84 years, were asked to practice either meditation or music listening for 12 minutes a day for 3 months. For the subsequent months, the subjects could decide on the duration of the activity at their discretion.
The researchers measured the cognitive functioning and memory of the participants at baseline, at the end of three months of study period and again at the end of six months. Tools used to measure the cognitive functioning included the Memory Functioning Questionnaire, the Digit-Symbol Substitution Test and the Trail-making Test.
The researchers found a marked improvement in both memory and cognition at the end of 3 months of the study period which was maintained or further improved at the end of six months.
Early intervention is crucial to slow down the progression of Alzheimer ’s, according to the lead researcher, Dr Innes who is from West Virginia University. The interventions used in the study including Kirtan Kriya meditation and music are not only non-invasive but are easy to perform and cost-effective. The study may hold promise for further research into developing an early interventional program using meditation and music.
Disclaimer: The health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.
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