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Alzheimers Research UK explain 'what is dementia?'

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Dr Gael Chetelat from Caen-Normandy University, France, said: “Meditation was superior to non-native language training.” His conclusion came from his research study whereby 137 participants were split into three groups. One cohort, escitalopram weird dreams full of French citizens, would take two-hourly weekly meditation and English classes.

The other group would practise at least 20 minutes of daily meditation in the comfort of their own homes.

The third group carried on living their lives as normal, with no intervention.

At the end of the 18-month research study, the sole meditation group scored better on attention regulation and socio-emotional capacities.

Dr Chetelat elaborated: “In the context of meditation practices, this capacity allows a heightened awareness and monitoring of the contents of experience without becoming absorbed by them.

“Socio-emotional capacities decreased substantially after non-native language training, suggesting the difference observed may be due to maintenance of skills by meditation.”

Dr Chetelat queried: “Could meditation, a mental training approach toward attention and emotion regulation, preserve brain structure and function in cognitively unimpaired older adults?”

He answered: “Future analyses on secondary outcomes will determine the measures most sensitive to meditation training and the factors associated with responsiveness to the intervention.”

The researchers added: “Mental training that targets stress and attention regulation has the potential to improve both cognitive and emotional aspects of ageing.”

Prior research has shown mindfulness meditation “improves cognition, especially in older adults”.

Meditation could improve “attention, executive functions and self awareness or meta-cognition”.

Moreover, the ancient practice “can also reduce stress, anxiety, and depression”.

Dr Chetelat added: “Meditation appears to be a promising approach to preserve brain structure and function, as well as cognition.

“Thus, [meditation could] reduce dementia risk by directly targeting psycho-affective factors.”

Reducing dementia risk

The Alzheimer’s Society confirmed there is “evidence” that you can “reduce your own risk” of dementia.

Five of these influential factors are: a healthy diet; exercise; not smoking; drinking less alcohol; and staying mentally and socially active.

“Doing regular physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia,” the charity noted.

“It’s good for your heart, circulation, weight and mental wellbeing.”

Eating a range of different foods, in the right proportions, could contribute to a lowered risk of dementia.

The foods must be nutritious, which includes wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, and fish.

It’s also helpful to find activities you enjoy that challenge the brain, such as puzzles, crosswords, or playing a musical instrument.

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