Study shows no difference in cognitive function in elderly performing exercise and mindfulness training


eMediNexus    15 December 2022

The findings published in JAMA revealed no change in cognitive function among older people who exercised or practiced mindfulness training.


The researchers evaluated 585 adults between the ages of 65 and 84. All had concerns related to memory problems and other age-related cognitive declines but were not diagnosed with dementia. All study participants were deemed to have age-appropriate cognitive abilities. Memory and other components of thought were assessed. Additionally, they performed brain imaging studies. Researchers examined the cognitive benefits in older persons who reported age-related memory deficits but had not been diagnosed with dementia for up to 18 months to determine the cognitive benefits of exercise, mindfulness training, or both.


The participants were divided into one of four groups at random: one in which they worked with certified exercise instructors; second in which they were under the supervision of certified mindfulness practitioners; third in which they engaged in both regular exercise and mindfulness training; and fourth in which they did neither but occasionally met to discuss general health education topics. After six and 18 months, the researchers repeated the brain scans and administered memory tests.


All groups shared a similar appearance at six months and once again at 18 months. Testing results showed a slight improvement in all four groups. The brain scans also didn′t show any variations between the groups that would indicate the training had any positive effects on the brain.


Researchers concluded that although no benefits were observed, elderly people who practiced exercise and mindfulness did not experience deterioration in cognitive function. As part of the study′s second phase to determine whether exercise and mindfulness instruction can reduce or stop further cognitive impairment, the same participants will be observed for a further five years.


(Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/health/exercise-mindfulness-don-t-boost-cognitive-function-in-elderly-study-confirms-101671016207608.html)

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