Alzheimer’s and healthy brain functioning
How we age is, to a large extent, a matter of choice. Keeping the millions of brain pathways open and unobstructed is essential for preventing memory loss and maintaining mental agility. Including the TM technique in your strategy for graceful aging may be your best measure to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Brain fitness through meditation
During TM practice, the awareness is naturally drawn inward to deeper, clearer, more expansive levels of the mind. Scientific research studies show that during the TM technique the brain produces synchronous alpha waves in the prefrontal cortex, often spreading throughout the entire brain. These findings, along with increased blood flow to the brain, indicate more efficient, orderly brain functioning—the different parts of the brain are communicating better, working together better as a whole.
While brain fitness exercises stimulate only a small portion of the brain, the TM technique allows the entire brain to become more integrated, which means the mind not only stays sharp but becomes sharper; intelligence and creativity improve, reaction time and neurological efficiency get better.
Women and Alzheimer’s
The impact of the epidemic of Alzheimer’s centers mostly on women: besides making up two-thirds of those who suffer form Alzheimer’s, women are also the main caregivers for those who have the disease.
Alzheimer’s is most prevalent in the U.S., with the onset of the disease beginning at age 40. It is estimated that 2 out of every 3 people over 85 will suffer from the disease. Most doctors agree that there is no cure in sight and that treating Alzheimer’s with drugs has very limited results, if any—and comes with major side effects.
Meditation and aging
By improving brain functioning on a daily basis, the Transcendental Meditation technique is key to maintaining vibrant alertness, comprehension and inner wakefulness throughout life and especially as we age.
It’s never too late to start meditating. Whether as a safeguard against Alzheimer’s or for addressing the onset of dementia or mental deterioration, the TM technique is easy to learn and practice and has been found to not only improve memory, alertness and decision making, but also reduces stress, anxiety, and depression—which often accompany aging.
Relevant Scientific Research Findings on the Transcendental Meditation program
- Improved memory
- Improved brain functioning
- Increased blood flow to the brain
- Decreased anxiety and depression
Individuals who practiced TM displayed significantly increased cerebral blood flow during the practice, in contrast to controls. Physiology & Behavior 59: 399-402, 1996.
Those practicing TM showed improved clustering in short-term memory, indicating increased organization of the thinking process, in comparison to controls. Scientific Research on the TM technique: Collected Papers, Volume 1: 385-392, 1977.
Elderly individuals who practice TM, in comparison to controls, show faster response of the brain to visual stimuli indicating healthier aging. Psychophysiology 26: S29, 1989.