Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Aging

Daily meditation (samadhi) improves memory. At a recent Alzheimer's Association's International Conference on the Prevention of Dementia in Washington, D.C., results from a University of Pennsylvania study confirmed for the first time that daily practice of meditation can improve cognitive function among individuals with memory complaints.

There is a difference between normal aging, dementia (there are 70 different kinds of this type of memory loss) and Alzheimer's (affecting over 1 out of every 8, over the age of 65). Alzheimer's is a progressive incurable disease that "attacks the brain causing cell death".

If you're like me, you forget where your keys are or maybe where you parked your car or where you took off your watch. But, when you have Alzheimer's you forget what a watch is called or which car is yours. It is not a normal part of aging. There is a check list of 10 warning signs to look for on the Alzheimer's Association website.

I have a loved one with Alzheimer's Disease. But until she was diagnosed, I did not fully understand the impact that the disease would have on our family and especially my father, her caregiver. I hope by being involved through outreach in my local Alzheimer's Association and learning more about prevention for myself and my students, it will empower them to make subtle changes that can make a life-impacting difference.

Living to the full,

Melissa




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