Meditation might keep you young, especially Zen meditation, for a new study has found that regular practice of it, it can reduce stress in long run, as well as the cognitive decline associated with normal aging.
Zen meditation, a Buddhist practice, is centred on attentional and postural self-regulation and scientists believe that its regular practice may affect the normal age-related decline of cerebral gray matter volume and attentional performance observed in healthy individuals.
Researchers measured gray matter changes in 13 regular practitioners of Zen meditation and 13 control subjects matched for age and education level who never practiced meditation by employing voxel-based morphometry (VBM), a recent technique to measure gray matter changes from MRI brain scans, and a computerized task of sustained attention.
Researchers found that while both total gray matter volume and attentional performance displayed the expected decrease with age in control subjects, meditators did not show such a trend.
Furthermore, the difference in volumetric decline between meditators and controls was most prominent in the putamen, a basal ganglia structure that has been implicated in attentional processing in general and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in particular.
These findings suggest that the regular practice of meditation may have neuroprotective effects and reduce the cognitive decline associated with normal aging.