Meditation Improves Long-Term Cognition

Extended Mental Health Benefits




Pavel Shlykov/Shutterstock.com

Cognitive gains that people experience from an intense meditation retreat can persist for at least seven years and slow age-related cognitive decline, a new study shows. Researchers from the University of California at Davis followed up with 60 people that had participated in a three-month retreat in which they meditated in a group and alone for a total of about eight hours a day.

Immediately afterwards, the meditators showed improvements in holding sustained attention— the ability to stay focused on a task or object—a key measure of cognitive function. Seven years later, researchers found that those significant gains were partly maintained, and that older participants that diligently practiced meditation didn’t show typical patterns of age-related attention declines.


This article appears in the September 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Dirt Houses Cancer-Protective Microbe

Soil contains bacteria that kills melanoma cancer cells, say Oregon State University researchers.

Doctors Underestimate Opioid Prescriptions

A survey of 109 emergency room doctors found they frequently underestimated how often they prescribed opioids and that they prescribed fewer when alerted to the situation.

Asthma Less Likely to Afflict Breastfed Kids

Dutch children that had been breastfed had a 45 percent lower incidence of asthma later in childhood.

Spanking Linked to Mental Health Problems

Adults that were spanked as children turned out to have a higher risk of depression, suicide attempts, drinking and drug use, according to University of Michigan researchers.

Wild Berries Prove Anti-Cancer Prowess

A naturally occurring compound found abundantly in wild berries increases the cancer-fighting ability of sirtuin 6 enzymes.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

A Tiny Heirloom Seed Secures Our Future

A seed-lending library is about to sprout up in the western suburbs.

Affecting Climate Change by Getting Involved

We need not feel hopeless when it comes to climate change, because each of us has the power to shape our policies and our future if we use it.

Anthroposophic Remedies May Help Ease Migraine Symptoms

With a migraine, the brain may be called upon to vicariously complete the digestive process, functions for which it is not suited.

The Wheel of Co-Creation New Ways of Being in the World in a Vast Movement for Positive Change

In the new paradigm, prevention is paramount, and when faced with illness, the goal becomes a comprehensive approach to attend to all aspects of personal wellness. We recognize and include the pioneering holistic, allopathic, alternative and complementary approaches, as well as traditional methods.

Infinity Foundation Presents David Kessler Speaking on Grief

The Infinity Foundation presents Never Dying Alone, with grief expert David Kessler.

Wilmette’s Zero Balancing Launches Wellness Series

Mary H. Murphy, owner of the Zero Balancing Wellness Center, in Wilmette, is offering a new series of evening wellness programs.