Yoga and Meditation are beneficial in combating Alzheimer’s disease

Studies conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, have revealed that regular practice of Yoga and meditation increases the neuroplasticity of the brain, enhancing the expression of genes beneficial for mental health and thus reducing the severity and delay the onset of memory defects and dementia. 

Yoga is a mind-body energy medicine with tremendous transformative power that can help in the secretion of helpful chemicals such as melatonin, which promotes good sleep, says Dr. Rima Dada, Professor in the Department of Anatomy. It also helps in reducing the biological age, stress, and inflammation when paired with a good diet and healthy lifestyle.

Memory defects, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia are associated with poor quality of life, says Dr Manjari Tripathi, Professor in the Department of Neurology at AIIMS. Diabetes, high BP, obesity, fast food intake, sedentary lifestyle, poor social interaction, etc. can trigger MCI in a person. 

Though medical advancements have increased lifespan among humans, it has not led to a corresponding increase in health span. This has resulted in the early onset of complex lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, PCOS, Alzheimer's disease, and cancers.

Yoga can target the factors behind these diseases by switching on gene programs beneficial for health. It reduces the biological age through increased expression of genes coding for antioxidants and decreased expression of proinflammatory genes. 

"These factors reduce the severity and delay the onset of memory defects and MCI,'' says Dr. Dada. 

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