lunedì 16 febbraio 2015

Meditare tutti i giorni preserva la materia grigia?


di Alberto Carrara, L.C.

Da un recentissimo studio pubblicato su Frontiers in Psychology (Published January 21, 2015) con l’emblematico titolo: Forever Young(er): potential age-defying effects of long-term meditation on gray matter atrophy, sembrerebbe proprio che la meditazione preservi, a lungo andare, la nostra materia grigia cerebrale. Il portale NeuroscienceNews titola così la sua sintesi e intervista relativa a questo studio: Forever Young: Meditation MightSlow the Age-Related Loss of Gray Matter in the BrainRiporto qui sopra e di seguito l’abstract del lavoro e nei prossimi giorni lo descriverò commentandolo. 

Abstract:

While overall life expectancy has been increasing, the human brain still begins deteriorating after the first two decades of life and continues degrading further with increasing age

Thus, techniques that diminish the negative impact of aging on the brain are desirable.

Existing research, although scarce, suggests meditation to be an attractive candidate in the quest for an accessible and inexpensive, efficacious remedy

Here, we examined the link between age and cerebral gray matter re-analyzing a large sample (n = 100) of long-term meditators and control subjects aged between 24 and 77 years

When correlating global and local gray matter with age, we detected negative correlations within both controls and meditators, suggesting a decline over time. However, the slopes of the regression lines were steeper and the correlation coefficients were stronger in controls than in meditators. Moreover, the age-affected brain regions were much more extended in controls than in meditators, with significant group-by-age interactions in numerous clusters throughout the brain. 

Altogether, these findings seem to suggest less age-related gray matter atrophy in long-term meditation practitioners.

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