Older adults who practice a simple meditation or listening a music programme may have significant improvement in memory function and objective cognitive performance – a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease – in three months, a study has found.
The findings showed that in older adults with subjective cognitive decline – a condition that may represent a preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease – practicing ‘Kirtan Kriya’ meditation and engaging in music listening programme showed improvements in attention, executive function, processing speed and subjective memory function – cognitive functioning that are most likely to be affected in preclinical and early stages of dementia.
The study suggests that two simple mind-body practices, Kirtan Kriya meditation and music listening, may not only improve mood, sleep and quality of life but also boost cognition and help reverse perceived memory loss in older adults with subjective cognitive decline, said Kim Innes from West Virginia University in the US.
For the study, the team analysed 60 older adults who were assigned to either a beginner meditation (Kirtan Kriya) or music listening programme and asked to practice 12 minutes/day for 12 weeks.
The improvement observed in memory and cognitive function was maintained or further increased at six months (three months post-intervention), the researchers said.