Long-Term Meditation May Slow Brain Aging
An imaging study conducted by investigators at the University of California, Los Angeles, showed that long-term meditators experienced less gray matter loss compared with matched control persons who did not meditate. Particularly surprising was the magnitude of this effect in nine clusters throughout the brains of meditators, suggesting that the practice affects more areas of the brain than previously thought. “We expected that there would be small regions in the brain where we would see an effect, mostly in regions where there was a difference reported before,” lead investigator Florian Kurth, MD, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Brain Mapping Center, told Medscape Medical News. “What we found, however, were effects throughout the whole brain, which is something really different; it’s really huge.” The researchers report that this is the largest related study of the effects of meditation on the brain, and it is also unique because it looked at long-term meditators.