Research shows that meditation helps patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in terms of memory and visual perception.
Meditation has emerged as an active practice that enhances attention and awakens mental health. Researchers from Shri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, have shown that meditation helps patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in terms of memory and visual perception. It is powerful as a treatment for depression associated with mood disorders.
Ministry of Science and Technology also came forward in support of the researchers and stated that mindfulness meditation has potential in the modulation of brain regions concerned with attention, emotion, stress-response, and behaviour. It further added that it also affects full body function such as the heart, blood circulation, and metabolism. It also said that a rigorous mindfulness-based intervention program has the potential to improve or stabilize cognitive functioning.
What are Central Cognitive Disorders and Alzheimer’s Disease?
Central Cognitive Disorders and Alzheimer’s Disease is a condition in which memory deteriorates, but the person tends to function independently. There are various treatment options, but meditation is one of the least invasive and cost-effective ways to give relief to these patients.
Several doctors including, Dr Ramshekhar N Menon, Additional Professor, SCTIMST, Trivandrum, Dr C. Kesavadas, Dr Bejoy Thomas, and Dr Aley Alexander (SCTIMST) Dr S Krishnan (Govt Medical College, Trivandrum) conducted a study with different objectives for each phase. In the first phase, they studied the regions of brain activation enhancements among seasoned mindfulness practitioners and healthy non-practitioners through Imaging Biomarkers. It is the first multimodality imaging work in dementia from India. While in the second phase, they verified the changes in cognitive performance of patients with MCI. The team then conducted weekly psychological training for 1 hour and provided feedback on the effectiveness of repetition activities at the end of each session. Patients were given home exercise routines. They also developed a 10-week psychological meditation program for patients called the ‘Mindfulness Unified Cognitive Behavior Therapy (MUCBT) training program’.
The result of the second phase tells that mindfulness can open up neural correlations associated with perception, particularly attention, behaviour, stress response, adaptation to nature, and other activities. It also suggests that consistent mindfulness practice can enlighten internal and external awareness and support mental health.
Inputs from PIB