Want to keep your mind sharp and brain young? A recent study in the journal NeuroImage sheds new light on one way to do that.
While normal aging leads to brain substance loss, people at age 50 who meditated long term had brain ages 7.5 years younger than those of nonmeditators in their age group. The report, published last month, is especially noteworthy since workers are staying longer in the workforce — whether by choice or necessity.
Researchers applied an algorithm to estimate the age of people's brains. Among the 50 control subjects, brain age did not vary much, but among the 50 long-term mediators, the researchers noticed a big difference.
"For every additional year over fifty, meditators' brains were estimated to be an additional 1 month and 22 days younger than their chronological age," said the study by researchers from UCLA, Australian National University and Jena University in Germany.
In recent years, meditation has become mainstream. A survey released last year found 18 million American adults practiced meditation.
And it's not just people who have taken another look at it. Businesses are joining in, too, as they launch programs and classes for employees and clients.