Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Mindfulness and meditation may stave off dementia.

Researchers from University College London examined studies looking at the association between mid-life anxietydepression, and the development of dementia. The findings, published in BMJ Open, point to an association between moderate to severe anxiety or depression and future dementia, with a gap of at least 10 years in between diagnoses. In other words, those who suffered clinically significant – that is, moderate to severe – anxiety or depression in mid-life were more likely to develop dementia years later.

It seems that responses to stress may speed up brain cell ageing and degenerative changes in the central nervous system, increasing vulnerability to dementia. Mindfulness and meditation, which have been found to reduce anxiety, have the potential to reduce the risk of later dementia.

The research involved 30,000 people.

Gimson A, Schlosser M, Huntley JD, et al. ‘Support for midlife anxiety diagnosis as an independent risk factor for dementia: a systematic review.’ BMJ Open 2018;8:e019399. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019399


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