Strike a Yoga Pose to Strike Down Alzheimer’s

UCLA researchers that found practicing yoga may help lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in older women.

The study followed 25 women between the ages of 55-75 who participated in a 12-week yoga program incorporating breathing techniques, meditation, and poses to improve balance and mobility.

Brain scans conducted before and after the yoga program revealed improvements in glucose metabolism in several regions susceptible to Alzheimer’s, including the posterior cingulate cortex. This area shows decreased metabolism early in Alzheimer’s disease progression.

Worldwide, over 50 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s or related dementias. This figure is expected to triple by 2050 as populations age.

Women are at particularly high risk – almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are female. After age 65, a woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s is 1 in 6, versus 1 in 11 for men.

Researchers suggest several mechanisms by which yoga may help prevent cognitive decline. The meditation and breathing practices reduce stress, which has been linked to impaired cognition.

The poses enhance cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility, keeping the body and mind active. Yoga may also stimulate neural networks in at-risk brain regions and increase cerebral blood flow.

More research is still needed to further examine yoga’s effects on Alzheimer’s biomarkers and progression. However, this preliminary study adds to growing evidence that yoga may have cognitive benefits for older adults.

For example, previous studies have found yoga can improve memory, concentration, processing speed, and executive brain functions like planning and reasoning.

Yoga to strike down Alzheimer / Canva
Yoga to strike down Alzheimer

While drug treatments have had limited success against Alzheimer’s so far, yoga offers a low-cost, accessible lifestyle intervention with potential to delay onset and improve quality of life.

Given the lack of effective prevention options, yoga could provide an invaluable tool to maintain cognitive health into old age if benefits are confirmed. Further research is critical to better understand how yoga might mitigate Alzheimer’s disease progression and protect the aging brain.

Read the full article: