Music and meditation may slow mental decline, study finds

King 5's Amity Addrisi reports

More scientific evidence is showing how yoga and music can help save the brain.

"It can bring joy can often stimulate people to engage more in their environment," says Dr. Nancy Isenberg, Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the Memory Wellness Program at Virginia Mason.

In a recent study by West Virginia University, researchers found that Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) might be a precursor to Alzheimer’s.

SCD is basically forgetfulness and it cannot be verified by standard testing.

What can be done to combat forgetfulness? Keeping the mind busy seems to be the best defense. The West Virginia study followed 60 adults with SCD concerns. Researchers had them either listen to classical music or practice Kirtan Kriya yoga 12 minutes a day for three months. After that, they could listen to music or meditate with yoga whenever they choose.

At the end of the study, both groups of people improved regarding their processing speed, executive functioning, and attention.

Dr. Isenberg says because a small portion of people has a genetic form of Alzheimer’s, it's important to remind people that they can take an active role in brain health. She says this study highlights our need to rethink aging.

"Well-being is a skill that we can cultivate ... if we take responsibility for minds we can reshape our brains to cultivate well being," said Dr. Isenberg.

She says other studies have shown negative views towards aging can put people at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease. It also helps, she says, to pick up a new hobby as we age.

"Learning new things strengthens neuro-circuitry it helps with focused attention and executive function," said Dr. Isenberg. "As we age we have to constantly challenge her brain."

Dr. Isenberg says that Virginia Mason offers classes for well being.

© 2017 KING-TV


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