Thursday, April 13, 2006

Expand Your Mind

RealAge tip of the day:

Maximize your brainpower with meditation. Meditation may stimulate the growth of brain tissue and reduce cognitive decline sometimes associated with aging. In a small study, people who meditated exhibited increased thickness in brain regions involved in attention and sensory perception compared to people of the same age who did not meditate. Take a few minutes every morning and evening to calm your mind and focus your thoughts.

Meditation has long been known to affect brain wave activity. Now new research suggests it changes brain structure as well. In a small study, researchers found that long-term practitioners of a certain type of meditation had thicker brain tissue in certain areas of the brain. Thinning brain tissue has been associated with age-related cognitive dysfunction, including poor attention and sensory awareness. The research suggests meditation may be one way to fight brain aging. In addition, eating foods rich in omega-3 fats, exercising regularly to boost circulation, and engaging in mentally challenging activities -- such as learning a new language or completing crossword puzzles -- will help to keep you mentally sharp.

References:

Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. Lazar, S. W., Kerr, C. E., Wasserman, R. H., Gray, J. R., Greve, D. N., Treadway, M. T., McGarvey, M., Quinn, B. T., Dusek, J. A., Benson, H., Rauch, S. L., Moore, C. I., Fischl, B., NeuroReport 2005 Nov 28;16(17):1893-1897.
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