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Physical activity that improves brain health, according to UCLA researchers

Physical activity that improves brain health, according to UCLA researchers

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) revealed that Kundalini yoga can be a tool to improve cognition and memory in older women at risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

For the research, they recruited 79 women over 50 years of age with a variant gene associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

These were divided into two groups for 12 weeks. While one group followed a course of Kundalini yoga training, the other followed a course of standard memory training exercises.

As a result, the yoga group showed a significant boost in cognition compared to the group that practiced standard memory exercises.

What are the effects of Kundalini yoga on the brain

Kunadlini yoga showed positive changes that were not experienced by women who took the rote training.

According to Helen Lavretsky, a health psychiatrist at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, part of UCLA Health: “These included a significant improvement in subjective memory complaints, prevention in the decrease of brain matter, increased connectivity in the hippocampuswhich manages stress-related memories, and improvement in peripheral cytokines and gene expression of anti-inflammatory and anti-aging molecules”

In any case, the group that exercised memory training did have improvements, but these would be shown in the long term.

“Ideally, people should do both, because they train different parts of the brain and have different overall effects on health,” Lavretsky said, adding: “Yoga has this anti-inflammatory, stress-reducing, and anti-aging neuroplastic effect on the brain that would be complementary to memory training.”

Source: Ambito

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